Why Switzerland refuses to send ammo to Ukraine

Protests over migration policies, votes on alcohol sales and more in our roundup of Swiss news from April 22 – 25.


Protestors highlight Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s quote “I need ammunition, not a ride.”


Swiss ammunition will not go to Ukrainian war effort

Ukraine will not be receiving Swiss-produced ammunition to help fight its war against Russia, according to the country’s Federal Council. Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz ordered such ammunition and Switzerland declined, saying that it was legally impossible under the country’s neutrality. Despite Switzerland’s move to halt imports and exports to Russia, apparently exporting ammunition to even a middleman and then onto “countries involved in intensive and long-lasting internal or international conflicts” is a step too far, according to the Federal Council. The biggest critics of the move say that Switzerland is partly responsible for the fact that Germany cannot deliver the badly needed Marder grenadier tanks to Ukraine as expected, since the tanks would be equipped with Swiss ammunition. Read more.


Protestors call out border control practices

Nearly 1,000 people this weekend marched in Bern against Switzerland’s continued financial support of Frontex – an EU border control and coast guard agency monitoring migrants and refugees at the Schengen area borders. On May 15, Swiss citizens will vote on whether Switzerland will or will not support the expansion of Frontex. Proponents of expanding the border control say the group facilitates safe migration and that Switzerland must assume responsibility of continued surveillance. Those against expanding Frontex (such as churches, non-profits and other international groups) say that Frontex has been responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people in the Mediterranean Sea. Read more.



Swiss residents will know by mid-June whether the largest grocery cooperative in the country will start selling alcohol for the first time.


Will Migros add alcohol to its shelves?

About 58% of Swiss residents are opposed to the country’s grocery store cooperative from adding alcohol to its shelves, according to a recent poll from Tamedia. The ban on selling alcohol at Migros has been in effect for about 100 years, but the nearly 2.3 million cooperative members will next month be able to vote on whether that will continues. The poll found that the older Swiss are particularly against changing the policy, while those ages 18-34 are split over the issue. The ban will only be lifted if it is defeated with a two-thirds majority. Read more.





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