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Switzerland Blocks Transfer of Anti-Aircraft Guns from Spain to Ukraine

Suiza bloquea transferencia de cañones antiaéreos desde España a Ucrania, EFE

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The Swiss government confirmed today, under its policy of neutrality, that it will not allow Spain to transfer two Swiss-made anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine, after having received this request from the Spanish authorities on January 16.

In a statement sent to Efe, the Federal Ministry of Economy, in charge of processing this request, which concerned 35 mm guns, confirmed the rejection, since Swiss law does not allow re-exporting its arms products to countries at war.

Switzerland had previously denied similar re-export requests to Denmark and Germany, which last year had also asked to transfer Swiss weaponry to Ukraine to assist it in its response to the Russian invasion.

Specifically, Switzerland rejected two German requests to re-export Swiss ammunition to Ukraine for Gepard battle tanks, and a Danish request to supply some 20 Piranha III battle tanks.

The Swiss War Material Act prohibits the trade of armaments produced in the Central European country with countries involved in an international armed conflict, so any purchase includes a clause obliging the purchasing country to request permission from Switzerland in the event of attempted re-export.

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The Swiss refusal to cooperate with the shipment of defensive weapons to Ukraine has opened a debate in the country, and the ministry itself recalled in its statement that the national parliament is analyzing possible “adjustments” in its arms re-export policy, although it stressed that as part of the government it remains on the sidelines of this debate.

Despite its traditional policy of neutrality, Switzerland is aligned with the European Union’s economic and financial sanctions against Russia, making it part of the list of countries considered “hostile” by Moscow since the beginning of the war.