Swiss diplomat defends country's ban on transferring ammunition to Kyiv
Flags of Germany, Switzerland and the EU (Photo:REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)
Switzerland is surprised by the "scale of criticism" after banning Germany from making ammunition transfers to Ukraine for Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns because of its neutrality, a diplomat from the country has said.
Swiss Ambassador to Germany Paul René Seger said in an interview with Augsburger Allgemeinen published on April 24, Handelsblatt that Bern's refusal to use "military force" means that Switzerland "does not support the war." Seger referred to the country's neutrality, calling it "part of our DNA."
"I am under the impression that Switzerland will be complicit if Putin wins the war," said Seger. “But 12,000 rounds of ammunition will not affect the war and will not even decide its outcome.”
On March 8, Switzerland made the final decision not to approve the re-export of ammunition to Ukraine. The country has consistently vetoed requests from countries, including Spain, Germany, and Denmark, that wanted to transfer Swiss-made armored vehicles and ammunition to Ukraine.
Back in the summer of 2022, Germany asked the Swiss government for permission to re-export 12,400 Gepard anti-aircraft rounds to Ukraine. Bern rejected the request, citing its neutrality. In the fall, Berlin sent a new one, pointing to the need to protect critical infrastructure and seaports in Ukraine, which are key to grain exports. Switzerland once again declined.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz then criticized the Swiss government for blocking the supply of ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces.
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