Switzerland pushes to allow imports of indigenous weapons from Ukraine, but House of Representatives rejects it

In the neutral Swiss parliament, a plan to loosen defense material regulations and allow domestic weapons to be brought into Ukraine was discussed, but it failed to pass the threshold of a vote in the House of Representatives.

According to the Swiss Federal Parliament on the 2nd (local time), a motion to amend the War Materials Law was rejected in the House of Representatives vote the previous day with 98 votes against, 75 votes in favor, and two abstentions.

A view of the Swiss Bundestag. AP Yonhap News

The motion seeks to amend the War Materiel Law to allow the import of Swiss-made weapons into Ukraine. The current Swiss War Materiel Act requires countries that purchase domestically produced munitions to obtain permission from the federal government to re-export them to other countries. In particular, in order to protect the principle of neutrality, re-exports are prohibited to areas where armed conflicts between countries occur.

Switzerland’s successive rejections of Germany’s request to re-export ammunition for self-propelled anti-aircraft guns manufactured in Denmark and Switzerland last year to Ukraine were also based on this law. Western countries have been pressuring Switzerland to allow Swiss-made weapons to be brought into Ukraine as demand for weapons has exceeded expectations due to the protracted war in Ukraine.

Considering this, Switzerland also considered amending the law. The Swiss Senate and House of Representatives security policy committees even agreed to amend the War Materials Act by making an exception to the arms ban. In effect, the intention is to create an exception in the law so as not to block the importation of indigenous weapons into Ukraine.

However, with the House’s rejection, discussions on amending the War Materiel Act are expected to sink below the surface for the time being.

In the vote, it was reported that the Swiss People’s Party with the largest number of seats and the Green Party, the fourth-largest party, opposed the revision of the War Materials Law on the grounds that it would undermine Switzerland’s neutrality.

Reporter Lee Byung-hun [email protected]

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