Switzerland vetoes Danish military donation to Ukraine

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

An illustration photo showing Piranha armoured vehicles in France
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

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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Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund

A majority in the Danish parliament has approved a new fund to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund

The fund, which consists of seven billion kroner (€940 million), will be targeted at Danish military, civilian and commercial assistance to Ukraine, according to the Nordic country’s finance ministry.

“Last year, we came together in a historic national compromise on Danish security policies. That was necessary in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said in a statement.

“With today’s agreement we give some seven million additional kroner to the efforts in Ukraine, and this will happen on a fully economically responsible basis,” he added.

All of parliament’s parties with the exception of the left-wing Red Green Alliance and Alternative parties voted for the fund.

Some 5.4 billion of the total 7 billion kroner will be spent on military assistance to Ukraine, with 1.2 billion kroner on civilian needs and 400 million to support businesses.

Part of the spending is funded by Denmark’s international development budget, while over 5 billion comes from spending an increased portion of the national GDP on the 2023 budget, news wire Ritzau states.

The money is designed to “retain a high level for military support” and “make a genuine difference for the Ukrainians,” acting defence minister Troels Lund Poulsen said.

“Their fight is our fight,” he added.