GENEVA, June 2. /TASS/. Deputies in Switzerland’s National Council (larger chamber of the Federal Assembly, or Swiss parliament) rejected a legislative proposal by the Security Policy Commission to permit the re-export of weapons to Ukraine, contrary to the Alpine nation's traditional neutral stance, with 98 deputies voting against the initiative, and 75 lawmakers for it, the Federal Assembly press office reported.
"There will be no law allowing the re-export of Swiss weapons to Ukraine. The National Council rejected a parliamentary initiative submitted by the [security] commission by a vote of 98 to 75," the statement said.
"Adopting this initiative would have been a step in favor of one side," said Jean-Luc Addor, a member of parliament for the right-wing conservative Swiss People's Party (SVP), which is part of the current government and has the largest faction in parliament. Earlier, the smaller parliamentary chamber, the Council of States, had expressed its opposition to the initiative.
Given its neutral status, Switzerland does not export weapons to Ukraine and prohibits the re-export of Swiss-made weapons sold to other countries to conflict zones. On March 10, the country's federal government reaffirmed the re-export ban. At the same time, the issue has long been debated in parliament. In particular, the proposal by the National Council's Security Policy Commission to allow the re-export of weapons to a country involved in a conflict, if the UN Security Council or General Assembly declares by a two-thirds vote that the other party to the conflict has violated international law, has been the subject of debate. Lifting the re-export ban has been advocated mainly by members of left-wing parties. Last November, the SVP and its political allies began gathering signatures for a referendum in favor of tightening the policy of neutrality and instituting a constitutional ban on imposing any sanctions that have not been approved by the UN Security Council.
In November 2022, the Swiss government did not allow Germany to re-export ammunition for Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine. Spain was also denied permission to re-export weapons. In 2022, Denmark also received a negative response to a re-export request to supply Kiev with 20 Swiss-made Piranha III multipurpose wheeled armored vehicles.
Switzerland, a non-NATO and non-EU member, supports the EU sanctions against Russia in connection with the special military operation in Ukraine. Last March, the Russian government approved a list of foreign countries and territories that have committed unfriendly acts against Russia, or Russian companies and citizens. The Swiss Confederation is included in the list of such countries.