Bern argued that re-exporting Swiss-made war material would violate the country’s neutrality
Switzerland has rejected a new request from Germany to allow it to send Swiss-made ammunition to Ukraine, the country’s government announced on Thursday. Swiss Economy Minister Guy Parmelin rejected the request, which was made in an official letter sent by German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to Bern last month, the government revealed.
In his letter, Lambrecht had requested permission to supply some 12,400 rounds of ammunition for Gepard anti-aircraft vehicles, which Berlin sent earlier this year to support kyiv in the ongoing conflict with Moscow.
“In accordance with the principle of equal treatment under the law of neutrality, Switzerland cannot accept a request for the transfer of war material of Swiss origin to Ukraine as long as the latter is involved in an international armed conflict”, explained the Swiss government in a press release, adding that since the “legal situation” remains the same, a “Approval of a transfer of Swiss war material from Germany to Ukraine is still not possible.”
While Switzerland partially abandoned its longstanding policy of neutrality amid the conflict in Ukraine and joined Western sanctions against Russia, it has repeatedly shot down attempts to supply Swiss-made arms to kyiv. In addition to banning Germany from sending ammunition for the Gepards, Bern also banned Denmark from supplying Swiss-made armored vehicles to Ukraine.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, citing kyiv’s failure to implement the Minsk Accords, intended to give Donetsk and Luhansk regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that kyiv’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to save time and “to create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbas republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked.
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