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Arms sales Switzerland exports more weapons to conflict nations

building a tank

A work at RUAG, Switzerland's state-owned defence contractor, builds a tank

(Keystone)

As parliament debates limiting the government’s say over whether Switzerland can export weapons to countries at war, research shows that Switzerland already exports weapons to such countries, and the numbers are increasing. 

Last year some 30% of Swiss weapons exports, worth around CHF140 million ($141 million), were bound for countries involved in either internal or international wars, according to a report in the Neue Zürcher Zeitungexternal link (NZZ) on Thursday. 

After regulations were relaxed in 2014, the proportion of such business increased, the NZZ said, largely due to exports to India, Pakistan and Thailand. 

The states to which Swiss arms were delivered ranged from those involved in conflicts supported by international law (Afghanistan) to those that are not recognised as legitimate by the international community (Russia’s operations in Syria). Other examples are interstate conflicts (India and Pakistan) or civil wars (Thailand). 

Between 2000 and 2017, the Swiss arms industry delivered war materiel to a total of 32 conflict countries, according to the NZZ, which based its research on data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Programexternal link and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairsexternal link (SECO):

materiel chart

materiel chart

NZZ/swissinfo.ch/ts

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