Espreso. Global

Switzerland plans to allow re-export of weapons to Ukraine

25 January, 2023 Wednesday
12:49

At a meeting on Tuesday, January 24, the Committee on Security Policy of Switzerland's National Council, approved a submission and a lawmaker's initiative, which provides permission for the re-export of Swiss weapons from third countries to Ukraine

This was reported on the parliamentary website.

“The Committee on Security Policy of the Swiss National Council (SiK-N) by 14 votes to 11 approved a submission and a parliamentary initiative on the re-export of military equipment. Declarations of non-re-export should be able to be revoked in cases where the prohibition of the use of force under international law is violated, in particular in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian war,” the report said.

In particular, it is added that since Switzerland is a neutral country, its legislation prohibits the re-export of weapons to warring countries. But the majority of the commission members are convinced that the change in the law will not violate the neutrality of Switzerland, because Switzerland itself would not supply weapons directly to Ukraine. The decision depends solely on the countries that previously received military materials from Switzerland.

It added that the commission is requesting that Article 18 of the Military Material Act (KMG) be amended to allow the Federal Council to announce the revocation of a non-re-export declaration by a country that has acquired Swiss military material. The initiative explains that it refers to a situation in which the UN Security Council declares a violation of the prohibition of the use of force under international law, or in which the UN General Assembly, by a two-thirds majority, determines that the prohibition of the use of force under international law has been violated.

At the same time, the commission emphasizes that the government should be able to maintain the ban on re-exports if its cancellation is contrary to the main foreign policy interests of Switzerland.

Therefore, the declaration of non-re-export of weapons should become invalid if there is certainty that military equipment was re-exported to Ukraine in connection with the Russian-Ukrainian war.

In addition, it is emphasized that if the commission gets its way, the changes in the law will take effect on May 1 and will initially be valid until the end of 2025.

Most of the members of the Commission believe that Switzerland should make its contribution to European security and, accordingly, provide more support to Ukraine.

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