Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, has criticized Switzerland’s “neutrality” for preventing the supply of Swiss-made ammunition that Berlin wants to send to Ukraine.
Photo: Keystone / Anthony Anex
The Swiss government is preventing a delivery of ammunition for the German government’s Gepard anti-air tank to Ukraine, citing its long history of neutrality.
At a news conference held to coincide with Swiss President Alain Berset’s visit to Berlin, Scholz stated, “We have discussed the subject”.
Scholz remarked, using his own “Zeitenwende” speech as an example, “This war in Europe calls on all of us to critically examine our self-image and sometimes to be willing to make uncomfortable but right decisions.”
Germany has a history of refraining from sending troops or weaponry into active hostilities, but it recently changed its policy in order to support Ukraine.
After Scholz, President Berset of Switzerland stated, “It is obvious that neutrality is always a problem in Switzerland and abroad”.
“Neutrality” means that Switzerland does not militarily help any side, according to 2 Berset. This is also a credibility issue, he said, because Switzerland is also the location of the UN, the international red cross, and the place where the Geneva Convention was signed.
However, he added, “This neutrality does not imply indifference.”
“We joined the sanctions the EU has against Russia as well. According to Berset, Switzerland is also demanding an end to the attacks and a troop pullout from Ukrainian territory.
Scholz commended Switzerland for supporting the EU sanctions. He continued, “It is also glad that we are in close contact with Switzerland on issues of how we can financially support Ukraine”.