A recent article in Defense One delves into Ukraine's desperate hunt for third-party arms and ammunition amid ongoing conflicts. Kyiv has been struggling with purchasing arms and ammunition to continue its resistance against Russian occupation, finding particular difficulty with buying Russian-designed munitions from the parts of Eastern Europe outside of Russia's influence.
Ukraine's difficulty in securing arms and ammunition comes in large part because of a hotly debated Swiss ban on shipping arms and ammunition to either side of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in an effort to stay impartial. This includes not just direct sales from Switzerland, but third party sales of Swiss arms. A recent attempt by Germany to sell Swiss-made munitions to the Ukraine were halted by this embargo, though several Polish third parties seem to have done so anyway.
Ukraine has been lobbying Swiss authorities to end the ban, with President Zelenskyy repeatedly calling Swiss munitions vital to Ukraine's fight to remain a self-governing nation. Some parts of the Swiss Parliament have begun to support Zelenskyy's plea, with the upper house voting to repeal the ban. However, the Swiss lower house seems to repeatedly vote against removing the ban, first in June and again in September this year.
ImportGenius records show Ukraine is still importing large quantities of Belgian and American munitions directly, with both countries happy to support Ukrainian efforts.
Bulgarian arms are also finding their way into the Ukraine despite the country's official political stance siding with Russia. Bulgaria is one of the largest manufacturers of Russian-designed military equipment outside of the Russian Federation, and while the country has not been directly trading with the Ukraine, authorities have made no comment on the purchase of over 90 million USD worth of Bulgarian munitions through third parties in Poland.
These massive purchases are above the military aid received by the Ukraine from the United States and its allies, totaling over $200 million USD in the last fiscal year alone.
Buying goods from third parties has taken its toll on the Ukrainian treasury, with publicly reported prices by Polish sellers of Bulgarian arms citing prices at up to three times the cost that Russia pays for the same munitions directly from Bulgarian manufacturers, so it's no surprise that Ukrainian authorities are desperate for an end to these bans.
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