ua en ru

Switzerland wants to allow arms exports, but keep ban for Ukraine

Switzerland wants to allow arms exports, but keep ban for Ukraine President of Switzerland Viola Amherd (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Swiss government is seeking to navigate its country's strict neutrality to allow arms exports while still maintaining a ban on shipments to Ukraine, citing Bloomberg.

Switzerland will be able to lift export restrictions in "exceptional circumstances" for a limited time if it serves the "foreign-policy or national-security interests," proposed by the cabinet ministers on Wednesday.

Legislators have demanded more flexibility to support Switzerland's arms industry, which plays a key role in the country's traditions of neutrality and self-defense.

It remains unclear whether this move will persuade buyers in Europe, who are increasing defense spending in an effort to assist Ukraine in repelling Russian aggression.

The Swiss government has already stated it will not use the exemption to allow arms shipments to Ukraine. Switzerland has prohibited Germany, Spain, and Denmark from sending Swiss-made weapons to Ukraine.

Switzerland's neutrality

Switzerland adheres to a policy of armed neutrality, meaning it does not participate in military conflicts or join military alliances. However, Switzerland does permit the production and export of arms, albeit with restrictions.

At the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion, Switzerland declined to provide weapons to Ukraine due to its neutrality.

In May of last year, Switzerland took steps toward supplying arms to Ukraine. However, amendments to the law on military equipment were blocked in the lower house of parliament.