Until now, the laws of the Swiss country prohibit arms exports to countries involved in international conflicts.
The security policy committee of the lower house of the Swiss parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of allowing third countries to deliver weapons made on Swiss territory to Ukraine. The current laws of the Swiss country prohibit such exports to nations involved in international conflicts, with the aim of maintaining its traditional neutrality, despite supporting a series of Western sanctions against Russia.
The motion, approved with 14 votes in favor and 11 against, calls for the Swiss government to be allowed to revoke non-re-export clauses in agreements with other countries in case the weapons are sent to a conflict that it has been convicted of violating. international law by a two-thirds majority of the United Nations General Assembly.
“The majority of the committee is of the opinion that Switzerland should make its contribution to European security and, consequently, provide more support to Ukraine,” reads a statement from the legislators.
According to the committee, the decision does not contradict the country’s traditional neutrality because it would not send weapons directly to a conflict zone, but would only allow other countries to do so. Swiss authorities previously faced criticism from Germany and Spain for blocking shipments to Ukraine of munitions made in the Alpine country.
The change must be enacted “quickly” and will remain in effect until the end of 2025, according to the motion. The Swiss government will still retain its powers to veto arms transfers in cases where this would pose “big” risks to the country’s foreign policy. The initiative now heads to the plenary session of Parliament for a vote.