Switzerland Supports Allows Arms Re-Export to Ukraine

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Switzerland's Council of States, the upper house of parliament, has approved an amendment that will allow arms re-export to Ukraine.

"Countries that purchase Swiss war material should be allowed, subject to conditions, to re-export it to countries involved in armed conflicts," the parliament press service stated.

The decision is taken by 22 in favor and 17 against votes, with four abstentions.

According to the amendment, purchaser countries of Swiss weapons will still have to sign a declaration prohibiting re-export, but its term may be limited to five years. Re-export will only be possible to destination countries that do not violate human rights and do not use weapons against civilian populations.

On June 1, the National Council, the lower house of the Swiss parliament, voted against an amendment that would allow the re-export of Swiss-made weaponry to third countries, such as Ukraine.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several countries have approached Switzerland requesting permission to re-export Swiss weapons from their arsenal to Kyiv.

For example, Germany wanted to provide ammunition for Gepard anti-aircraft systems and machine gun ammunition to Ukraine. Denmark approached Bern for permission to supply Piranha III armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine. However, Switzerland rejected both requests, which drew international criticism.

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