Swiss 'could lose military contracts' over re-export restrictions

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Switzerland's stance on the re-export of arms to Ukraine makes it a less reliable supplier of military hardware to European partners, says former EU chief negotiator Christian Leffler. 

This content was published on April 17, 2023
La Liberté/ac

“In future, countries will think twice before placing orders with Switzerland," the Swede said in an interview published in the La Liberté paper on Monday. He warned that the Swiss military industry runs the risk of losing contracts.

Several states are finding that Switzerland is not as reliable as they thought, added the former negotiator, who called for an end to "political acrobatics". In his view, Switzerland must quickly authorise the sale, resale and transfer of arms and munitions to Ukraine, and also better track the money of oligarchs.

+ Parliament insists on status quo on arms exports

Switzerland is under strong international pressure to allow re-exports of Swiss-made weapons. Spain, Germany and Denmark, among others, have requested that Swiss-made war materiel be sent to Kyiv. The Swiss government has so far always opposed this, invoking the law of neutrality and the law on war materiel.

Two interventions calling for a relaxation of the re-export provisions failed in the spring session of parliament. Several parliamentary initiatives on this subject are still pending.

Switzerland has also recently been called upon to do more to track down the money of Russian oligarchs. Several ambassadors of the G7 states have demanded in a letter for the Swiss government to take stronger action.

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