March 29, 2023

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War in Ukraine: Why Switzerland would rather destroy anti-aircraft batteries than supply them to Kyiv

Although the Swiss may have used aerial batteries in Q, they will still be free from operational status. Questionable decision.

Is Switzerland loyal to its tradition of neutrality? According to a German-language newspaper Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung (NZZ) am SontagThe Swiss Confederation dismantled a cluster of anti-aircraft batteries that could be used by the Ukrainian military.

Although considered very old, the armory was functional. These are 60 “Rapier” surface-to-air defense systems, manufactured by the United Kingdom in the 1960s and purchased by Switzerland in the 1980s.

According to the worldHowever, according to Swiss law, foreign weapons taken out of service must be resold “unconditionally” with priority given to the country of manufacture. In theory, therefore, Switzerland could not resist a British demand for the return of these arms.

Tensions between Bern and its allies

Since the start of the conflict, Switzerland has stuck to its historic neutrality and refused to supply Ukraine with any weapons, even if it angered its Western partners.

The president of the federation, Alain Berset, condemned Sunday as a “war fanatic” in an interview with NZZ, recalling that “Swiss weapons should not be used in wars”.

Despite pressure from Kyiv and its allies to re-export Swiss arms and ammunition to Ukraine, Bern has so far rejected requests from Germany, Spain and Denmark.

Various efforts are underway in the Swiss parliament to relax these rules, but no results are expected for months.

The only departure from its principle of neutrality is that the bloc joined the European sanctions against Russia decided in March 2022 after the Russian invasion.

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