Switzerland vetoes Danish military donation to Ukraine

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected] • 4 Jun, 2022 Updated Sat 4 Jun 2022 10:57 CEST
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An illustration photo showing Piranha armoured vehicles in France. Switzerland has blocked Denmark from sending Swiss-made military hardware to Ukraine. File photo: Thomas SAMSON / AFP

Switzerland has blocked a planned delivery by Denmark of 20 Swiss-produced armoured vehicles to Ukraine.

The donation of the vehicles to Ukraine by Denmark was blocked by Switzerland due to the latter country’s policy of military neutrality, Swiss broadcaster SRF reported on Wednesday according to news wire Reuters.

Switzerland maintains the right to prevent hardware it produced from being supplied to Ukraine under the neutrality policy, which extends to military assistance to Ukraine in defending itself against the Russian invasion.

As such, Switzerland can prevent military hardware it sells to other countries from being exported to a third country.

The vehicles in question are of the type Piranha III, produced by Swiss company Mowag.

Denmark is reported to have requested permission from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to send the vehicles to Ukraine. The request was reportedly turned down.

The Danish Ministry of Defence has declined to comment on the matter.

“In respect of the confidentiality of operative questions, the Ministry of Defence can not elaborate on issues relating to donations of weapons,” the ministry told Danish news wire Ritzau in a written comment on Monday.

Copenhagen's plans to send the armoured vehicles to Ukraine were earlier reported by media in the Nordic country.

Denmark has sent body armour, weapons and other military equipment valuing up to two billion kroner (around 270 million euros) to Ukraine, according to statements made in parliament this week.

Switzerland in April blocked a German donation of anti-aircraft ammunition to Ukraine, while Poland has also previously been denied permission to assist Ukraine by donating Swiss hardware, according to Reuters.

Although Switzerland keeps a traditionally neutral foreign policy with regard to military conflicts, it has participated in several economic sanctions led by the EU against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

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