Switzerland clarifies rules on arms shipments to Ukraine
According to the country, some Swiss-made weapons could be shipped to Kiev.
Switzerland ruled on Friday that shipping weapons with Swiss-made components to Ukraine does not violate the country’s centuries-old neutrality, if certain conditions are met.
“The delivery of war material in the form of assembly elements or spare parts to European armament companies will… remain possible, even if the manufactured war material is likely to be sent to Ukraine,”The Swiss government stated.
Officials also clarified that weapons reexport is permissible if the percentage of Swiss-made parts in the final product falls below a threshold such as 50 percent for Italy or Germany.
The re-export of fully Swiss-made arms and ammunition would still violate the country’s neutrality, however.
Switzerland recently rejected Denmark’s request to provide Ukraine with 22 Swiss-made Piranha III armored infantry fighting vehicles, as well as Germany’s request to give Kiev 12,400 rounds of the Swiss-made ammunition used in Gepard anti-aircraft tanks.
After Russia’s military attack on the neighbouring country in February, Western nations have increasingly supplied Ukraine with weapons.
This week, the Pentagon revealed that M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System will be delivered to Ukraine. Germany pledged the same to provide Kiev with IRIS–T air defense systems.
In a response, the Kremlin accused West “pouring fuel on the fire.”Russia had previously stated that any foreign weapon systems will be considered legitimate targets for Ukrainian soil.
Russia attacked Ukraine following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French- and German-brokered protocol were created to provide special status for the Ukrainian states that breakaway areas.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.