Switzerland Rejected Re-Export of Nearly Hundred Leopard 1 Tanks for Ukraine

Wednesday, 28 June 2023

The Swiss government has rejected a request by Swiss defence company RUAG to re-export 96 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine that were supposed to be delivered to Ukraine after refurbishment in Germany.

As mentioned in a statement from June 28, the Swiss Federal Council rejected a request by Ruag SA for the export of 96 Leopard 1 A5 tanks based on neutrality legislation.

The tanks are currently in storage in Italy and would require refurbishment in Germany before being re-exported to Ukraine as military assistance.

"The Federal Council has concluded that the sale of the 96 tanks is not possible under the law as it stands. In particular, such a sale would contravene the War Materiel Act and would result in a shift from Switzerland's policy of neutrality," the Federal Council stated.

The National Council, the lower house of the Swiss parliament, approved the authorisation to sell 25 out of the 96 decommissioned Leopard 2 battle tanks to Germany in mid-June despite strict export restrictions.

Last week, Switzerland announced a humanitarian aid package worth 1.2 million Swiss francs (1.22 million euros) for mine clearance in Ukraine.

Switzerland has faced criticism for prohibiting other countries from transferring weapons produced in Switzerland to Kyiv due to neutrality considerations. This also applies to Germany, which is unable to supply ammunition for self-propelled Gepard anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine.

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