Swiss veto Danish request to send armoured vehicles to Ukraine

A Swiss flag is pictured on the Federal Palace in Bern
A Swiss flag is pictured on the Federal Palace (Bundeshaus) in Bern, Switzerland December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

ZURICH, June 1 (Reuters) - The Swiss government has vetoed Denmark's request to send Swiss-made armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine, citing its neutrality policy of not supplying arms to conflict zones.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) rejected Denmark's bid to provide Piranha III infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, it said, confirming a report by broadcaster SRF.

Neutral Switzerland requires foreign countries that buy Swiss arms to seek permission to re-export them.

In April it vetoed the re-export of Swiss-made ammunition used in anti-aircraft tanks that Germany is sending to Ukraine. read more It has also rejected Poland's request for arms to help neighbouring Ukraine. read more

Switzerland has parted with past practice and adopted European Union sanctions designed to punish Russia for invading Ukraine, an incursion Moscow describes as a special military operation to disarm and "de-Nazify" Ukraine.

But Swiss neutrality faces its biggest test in decades as a domestic debate rages over how to interpret the policy that kept Switzerland out of both world wars during the 20th century. read more

Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by Toby Chopra and Mark Potter

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