The lower house of the Swiss parliament on Thursday rejected a proposal that aimed to authorize the transfer of arms manufactured in Switzerland to Ukraine.
This vote took place on the day when the President of the Confederation, Alain Berset, met the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, within the framework of the summit of the European Political Community (EPC) in Moldova. The two leaders notably discussed this subject.
The National Council voted against this proposal presented by a parliamentary committee.
Jean-Luc Addor, of the Democratic Union of the Centre, a populist right-wing party – which has the most seats in the National Council – told the Council that “accepting this initiative means committing to a protagonists. […] So violating neutrality”.
Historically, Switzerland, a country of 8.9 million inhabitants, maintains a position of neutrality.
But a debate on this subject has agitated Switzerland since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
This rich country – which is not part of the European Union – has adopted all the sanctions taken by Brussels against Moscow, believing that they are compatible with its neutrality.
Despite pressure from kyiv and its allies, Switzerland has so far refused to allow countries that have Swiss-made weapons to re-export them to Ukraine.
At the CPE summit, Kyiv and Chisinau urged European leaders to support them more against Moscow.
President Berset said on Twitter that he had a “productive meeting with Mr. Zelensky about the situation on the ground, Swiss humanitarian aid and reconstruction”.
Swiss national radio RTS said the meeting lasted 25 minutes. The two leaders also discussed blocked assets, Switzerland’s role in mine clearance and the country’s position on arms re-export, according to Berset.
“I believe that the position and role of Switzerland is very well understood by Ukrainians,” he said, adding that he was ready to visit Ukraine at any time.
“We apply our law. We showed from the start that we were not indifferent to what was happening, [que] we were strongly committed alongside Ukraine. »