Switzerland Rejects Export of Swiss-Made Munitions to Ukraine

The SonntagsZeitung of Switzerland reported April 24 that that the Swiss government has vetoed the request from Germany to re-export to Ukraine Swiss-made ammunition used in Marder infantry fighting vehicles that Kyiv would like to obtain. Without the ammunition, the tanks, manufactured by Germany’s Rheinmetall company, will likely not be delivered.

The Sunday paper quoted a spokesman for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), who confirmed that it had received two inquiries from Germany regarding the transfer of the munitions that had been imported from Switzerland. The government delivered a firm “No” to those requests, citing Swiss neutrality and the legislation on war material that categorically prohibits such transactions. Switzerland had also denied a request a few weeks ago from Poland for arms to re-export to Ukraine.

Amid a heated debate, the Swiss government did give in to pressure in early March and adopted the European Union sanctions against Russia in spite of its historical stance of neutrality (cf. SAS 10/22), But it has now strongly asserted its sovereign right as a neutral country to deny sending arms to conflict zones.

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