Switzerland clarifies stance on military aid to Ukraine

“The discussion about the export of arms, weapons… while we have [our] legal framework in Switzerland, it is not possible to do it,” Berset said to reporters on Tuesday following meetings at the United Nations. Despite Switzerland not being an EU member state, Bern has adopted several of the European bloc’s sanctions targeting Russia. Berset met with Ukraine President Vladimir Zelensky last week and emphasized his country’s “strong humanitarian commitment to Ukraine.” Swiss lawmakers last month proposed a near-$140-million package designed to provide support in demining and humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Switzerland’s constitution dictates that Swiss-made weapons and ammunition cannot be exported to warring countries – but this long-held stance has critics in parliament. Liberal politician Thierry Burkart said last month that Swiss policy is in effect “preventing our Western partners from supporting Ukraine.” Swiss weapons sold abroad are also barred from re-exportation to a third-party country if it is at war.

German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall requested permission last month to purchase Swiss-made Leopard tanks, with Germany giving assurances they wouldn’t be transferred to Ukraine. Bern has rejected arms transfer requests from Germany, Spain and Denmark in spite of lobbying from Kiev. Berset, however, offered a glimmer of hope to parliamentary critics of Swiss military exportation policies, suggesting that Bern’s stance could switch if there is a “change [to] this legal framework.” The 50-year-old politician was elected to the country’s presidency for a second time in December and took office on January 1. The country operates a one-year rolling presidency policy, with a new leader to be elected in December 2023.


Source Credibility: The source of this content is RT (rt.com), an international news channel that is publicly financed by the Russian Federation. To learn about CorruptionLedger's stance on freedom of speech and press, click here.

- Any text modified or added by CorruptionLedger is highlighted in blue.

- [...] These characters indicate content was shortened. This is used for removing unnecessary/biased/flowery language. Example: The oppressive government imposed a curfew becomes: The [...] government imposed a curfew.