The authorities of the country considered the supply of Swiss-made military equipment to Ukraine a violation of the law on neutrality, but they did not see any problems with the transfer of weapons to Kyiv, half consisting of Swiss components
production to Ukraine does not contradict the neutrality clause, the Federal Council of Switzerland came to such a conclusion, according to the website of the government of the confederation.
The Swiss authorities examined two relevant applications, the German companies intended to request spare parts for anti-tank launchers, the Italian & mdash; spare parts for air defense systems (air defense). Both deals are associated with the risk of Swiss weapons getting into equipment, which as a result will end up in Ukraine, the government said.
Swiss law allows for the involvement of Swiss companies in international defense value chains, the Federal Council said. Transactions in this area are generally allowed, the report says, if the proportion of Swiss-made components is below a certain threshold in the final product. For Germany and Italy, this figure is 50%.
“The Federal Council decided to continue this practice. Such export is compatible with the law of neutrality,”” decided by the Swiss authorities.
At the same time, the authorities forbade the transfer of Swiss-made weapons, equipment or spare parts to Ukraine, the corresponding requests were received from Danish and German companies. The German side intended to transfer to Ukraine about 12.4 thousand 35-mm cartridges for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank. and BMP Piranha III. The Danish side intended to supply the Armed Forces with 22 Piranha III infantry fighting vehicles. The Federal Council stated: “In the event that the country of destination is involved in an international armed conflict, the export of military materials should be prohibited,” as this violates the neutrality clause.
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At the end of April, Switzerland refused Germany's request to supply Ukrainian forces with ammunition for the Marder infantry fighting vehicle, the newspaper SonntagsZeitung wrote, indicating that the German concern Rheinmetall is engaged in the production of infantry fighting vehicles, one of the factories is located in Zurich. “Both requests from Germany were answered in the negative with reference to Swiss neutrality,” — Swiss authorities said in a statement.
As SwissInfo pointed out, several defense industry plants are located in Switzerland, which have experienced an increase in the number of orders from European countries since the end of February. In particular, the head of the Swiss branch of Rheinmetall, Oliver Dürr, urged employees to accelerate the pace of production. Company spokesman Oliver Hoffmann noted that about 87% of total orders are delivered to NATO countries.
In early June, the Swiss Council of Cantons (small chamber of the Federal Assembly) approved a gradual increase in defense spending for the country— from about 5.4 billion this year to 7 billion francs by 2030, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper indicates that this amount will be 1% of the country's GDP. Previously, since 1990, the budget of the Swiss armed forces has been reduced— from 1.34% to slightly less than 0.7% of GDP in 2019.
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