Swiss again reject German request to re-export Swiss ammunition to Ukraine

A Swiss national flag flutters behind a sign marking the Bundesplatz square in Bern, Switzerland May 2, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Switzerland has again rejected an appeal from Germany to allow it to re-export Swiss-made ammunition to Ukraine, the government said on Thursday, saying such a move would violate Swiss neutrality.

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht had written to the government in Bern last month asking for permission to supply 12,400 rounds of Swiss-made ammunition for Gepard anti-aircraft tanks that Berlin has already supplied to Ukraine to help in its war with Russia.

But Swiss Economy Minister Guy Parmelin gave the same response the Swiss government had given in June when it rejected an earlier request.

"Under the principle of equal treatment in neutrality law, Switzerland cannot agree to a request for the transfer of war materiel of Swiss origin to Ukraine as long as the latter is involved in an international armed conflict," the government said.

"As the legal situation remains unchanged, approval of a transfer of Swiss war materiel by Germany to Ukraine is still not possible," it added.

The 35mm shells were originally supplied by Swiss companies to the German army decades ago on the condition that it could not re-export the munitions without Swiss approval.

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Noele Illien and Michael Shields

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