Swiss object to German request to re-export tank ammunition to Ukraine 2022-04-26 10:40:00


A Gepard anti-aircraft tank of the German Bundeswehr fires during a demonstration in the training area in Munster, about 80 km southeast of Hamburg on June 20, 2007. REUTERS / Christian Charisius (Germany) / File Photo

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ZURICH (Reuters) – The neutral Swiss government said on Tuesday it had vetoed the re-export of Swiss-made munitions used in Germany’s Gibbard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine.

Germany earlier announced it was delivering heavy weapons to Ukraine to help it fend off Russian attacks after weeks of pressure at home and abroad to do so. Read more

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) confirmed a report by the SRF that it had prevented Germany from sending ammunition for the Gepard tank to Ukraine.

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SECO received two orders from Germany to transport ammunition it had previously received from Switzerland to Ukraine. One of them relates to the 35 mm ammunition of the Gibbard tank. The agency said in response to a query that the other related to 12.7 mm ammunition.

SECO said: “My query by Germany about whether ammunition received from Switzerland can be transferred to Ukraine in respect of Swiss neutrality and mandatory rejection criteria for Swiss legislation on war materials was answered in the negative.”

The SRF said it was unclear what ammunition Germany was now sending to Ukraine along with Gibbards, following the Swiss veto.

Switzerland has abandoned past practices and adopted EU sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for invading Ukraine, but said its neutrality does not allow it to provide weapons for use in conflict areas.

Last month, it rejected Poland’s request for arms to help its neighbor Ukraine. Read more

Switzerland generally requires recipient countries to declare that they will not re-export war materials without authorization.

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(Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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