Switzerland Stops Danish Arms Assistance to Ukraine

The Swiss authorities have confirmed that they rejected a request from Denmark to supply armoured personnel carriers of type Piranha III to Ukraine.

According to Danish Radio, some 20 armoured personnel carriers have been purchased from Switzerland on the condition that they may only be passed on if Bern allows it. The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said it had previously received similar requests from Germany to send tanks and ammunition. Ultimately, all the requests were rejected on the grounds that Switzerland is neutral.

Major Esben Salling Larsen, military analyst at the Danish Royal Defence Academy, said it was “completely normal” for countries to set conditions for the resale of the materiel, referring to Denmark's old F-16 fighter fleet needing the approval of the US to be sold. “It is to be expected that such problems can arise”, he told Danish Radio. “It shows that arms donations and assistance is something we need to think about in the future”, he mused.

The Danish Defence Ministry refused to comment on the case.

“For the sake of confidentiality about operational matters, the Ministry of Defence cannot go into detail about matters about donations of weapons”, its statement said.

Earlier, Switzerland took a serious step away from its famed neutrality as it joined all the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia over its special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine and protect the inhabitants of the Donbass republics. At the same time, the Swiss government persistently emphasised neutrality as it refused to supply weapons to, among others, Poland in order to arm Ukraine.

In recent weeks, the Swiss government has come under increasing pressure. For instance, German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck reiterated Berlin's desire for Switzerland to change its practice and “give Ukraine maximum support” as he met with members of the Swiss government last week.

Denmark has been a keep supporter of arming Ukraine since the start of the conflict, contributing an increasing arsenal of weapons ranging from anti-tank systems to naval Harpoon missiles, which may be also be used in a truck-mounted mode and may have a range of up to 240 kilometres.

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