2 Jun 2023 13:14

Swiss parliament declines legislation that would allow arms re-exports to Ukraine

MOSCOW. June 2 (Interfax) - Switzerland's National Council voted on June 1 to turn down a bill that would allow third countries to send Swiss-made weapons to Ukraine, although debates on the matter are continuing.

The lower house of the Swiss parliament declined the parliamentary initiative of its Security Policy Committee in a 98-75 vote with two abstentions, Ukrainian media reported citing a statement on the National Council's website on Friday.

However, the vote did not bring the discussion on what would have fundamentally amended the law on military materials to a close, as seen from the statement.

The law on military materials prohibits supplies of Swiss weapons to warring countries other than in exceptional circumstances.

As follows from the parliamentary debate records published on the website, the parliament is still considering several proposals on the matter. For instance, one of them would allow supplying military materials to Ukraine indirectly provided certain conditions. In particular, weapons can be transferred only five years after their procurement from Switzerland, but only by Western countries and upon request. In addition, the country were Swiss weapons are to be sent must not be at war unless it is defending itself.

Citing its neutral status, Switzerland has earlier consistently declined requests from other countries, particularly Spain, German, and Denmark, that wished to send Swiss-made armored vehicles and munitions to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.