Switzerland on Wednesday banned Germany from sending Swiss-made ammunition to Ukraine for the anti-aircraft tanks Berlin plans to ship to Kyiv, saying it desperately needs them.
“In the name of the neutrality law and Swiss war material legislation, there is still no reason to respond positively to Germany’s request to send Swiss war material to Ukraine,” said Economics Minister Guy Parmelin in a letter to Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. In this particular case, it is 12,400 35mm ammunition intended for Gepard, a twin-barrel anti-aircraft system on rails that the Ukrainians are specifically demanding to destroy in flight cruise missiles and kamikaze drones used by the Russian armed forces be shot down.
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“The equal treatment resulting from the law of neutrality does not allow Switzerland to agree to a request for the transfer of war material from Switzerland to Ukraine as long as this country is involved in an international armed conflict,” emphasized the minister in a press release. “The approval criteria of the Swiss war material legislation also exclude the supply of war material to countries involved in such a conflict,” he adds.
The Swiss government on Wednesday announced it would provide Ukraine with $100 million in humanitarian aid to provide drinking water and repair damaged energy infrastructure in anticipation of the approaching winter. The neutrality debate was revived in Switzerland with the decision of the Bundesrat – the government – to adopt all sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia since February 24 and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Some Swiss politicians, particularly in the ranks of the SVP (the country’s far-right and leading party), believe that this is already overprescribing and undermining the principle of neutrality. Federal President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis tirelessly repeats that this is not the case.
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