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Record for Swiss war material exports

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The weapons went to 60 countries for around 960 million euros.
Image: (Reuters)
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The goods went to 60 countries for 955 million francs (around 960 million euros), as reported by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) on Tuesday. That was an increase of 29 percent. The largest buyers were Qatar, Denmark, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the USA. War material went to Germany for 131.7 million francs. The main deliveries to Qatar were anti-aircraft systems to protect the airspace over the football stadiums during the World Cup.

Swiss war material is in the headlines because of the Russian war against Ukraine. The country, citing its neutrality, prohibits customers from passing on goods to countries involved in an international conflict. Germany and other countries applied in vain for exceptions to be able to deliver Swiss ammunition and other material to Ukraine.

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In view of such refusals, buyers would have to think carefully about where they buy ammunition in the future, said German Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

That is why the Swiss arms industry is alarmed and easing is being discussed in Parliament. The smaller chamber of parliament, the Council of States, had rejected a proposal to relax the rules against forwarding by a vote of 23 to 18. The National Council will also deal with this this week.

According to Seco, Switzerland is one of the few countries to check whether exported weapons are actually in the exporting countries. That happens where there are risks. Controls in neighboring countries are not planned.

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