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After Swiss veto: Strack-Zimmermann wants to check ammunition sources

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Switzerland refuses to allow Germany to release special ammunition for Ukraine’s air defense systems. The chairman of the defense committee demands consequences.

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The chairwoman of the defense committee in the Bundestag, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, calls for a fundamental review of the supply chains because of the Swiss veto against the delivery of anti-aircraft ammunition to Ukraine.

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Germany can no longer make itself dependent – as in the case of Swiss ammunition for the anti-aircraft gun tank Gepard – said the FDP politician to the German Press Agency in Berlin. She also pointed out that ammunition purchases of 20 billion euros or more would be necessary in the coming years. Switzerland had blocked the transfer of cheetah ammunition for the second time on Thursday and referred to its own neutrality “in the relationship between Russia and Ukraine”.

Strack-Zimmermann: Must accept neutrality status

“Of course we have, even if it is difficult to accept as friendly neighbors, if Switzerland, due to its neutrality status, does not want to pass on ammunition that is used in crisis areas,” said Strack-Zimmermann. “It is unfortunate, however, as the ammunition for the cheetah is needed primarily to deter airstrikes on wheat-laden ships in Ukrainian ports. Failure to do so will eventually result in starvation for 190 million people worldwide devices.”

For the defense politician, there are also security policy issues. “What actually happens if Germany or one of the NATO countries is attacked and the ammunition manufactured in Switzerland is not delivered due to this ‘neutrality’?”

The Gepard tanks, which were decommissioned by the Bundeswehr and handed over to the Ukraine, are equipped with a 35mm twin cannon from the Swiss armaments manufacturer Oerlikon. The manufacturer of weapons and ammunition now belongs to Rheinmetall.

“Reliability is essential”

Strack-Zimmermann pointed out that the Bundeswehr also obtains ammunition from Switzerland for its Mantis anti-aircraft weapon system, ammunition for the main armament of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle and for the Tornado and Eurofighter combat aircraft. “In terms of security policy, the world has changed since February 24, and Germany must immediately check the relevant delivery routes when ordering ammunition and change or adjust them if necessary,” she said, referring to the day of the Russian attack on Ukraine. She demanded: “Reliability in this situation is essential.”

Swiss Economics Minister Guy Parmelin wrote to German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) on Thursday that Bern could not agree to such a delivery of Swiss-made war material if the recipient country was involved in an international conflict. Berlin had previously asked Switzerland about the approximately 12,400 cartridges of Swiss origin for the anti-aircraft gun tank for Ukraine. At the beginning of June, Parmelin formally rejected the export for the first time with reference to Swiss neutrality.

Source: Stern

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