In Switzerland, pressure is mounting on the government to abandon its previous ban on the transfer of arms to belligerent countries. The Security Policy Committee of the National Council argued on Tuesday that under certain circumstances weapons may also be passed on to states at war. This was the response of the parliamentary committee to Russia’s 11-month offensive war against Ukraine.
The decision rests with the government, the Bundesrat. With regard to Switzerland’s neutrality, Switzerland has so far refused to challenge the fundamental ban on the transfer of arms or ammunition to warring parties. Last year, for example, Germany was not allowed to pass on ammunition for Swiss-made cheetahs.
Lift the ban in the case of Ukraine
The commission is now demanding that the ban on re-exports be lifted in the case of Ukraine – or if the United Nations has determined by a two-thirds majority that a country’s military action violates the ban on the use of force.
Recently, the opinion of the Social Democrats, who had previously defended the export ban, had changed: “The re-export of ammunition and other weapons must be approved on a case-by-case basis for our neighbors in Ukraine,” wrote MP Eric Nussbaumer.
Aggressive war condemned as illegal under international law
Because the United Nations has condemned Russia’s war of aggression as a violation of international law, Switzerland “cannot abandon its other neighbours. We are not the chosen ones to stand aside in the collective defense of international law .”