Swiss government blocks sale of 96 Leopard tanks to Ukraine through Germany

28.06.2023, 15:48
Swiss government blocks sale of 96 Leopard tanks to Ukraine through Germany - Photo

The Federal Council of Switzerland rejected the request of the Ruag defense company to sell 96 Leopard 1A5 tanks to Ukraine through Germany, reads the official update of the government.

On April 27, 2023, Ruag AG applied for the sale of 96 unserviceable Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks. The materiel, which was in storage in Italy, was supposed to be repaired in Germany and then transferred to Ukraine.

The Federal Council "concluded that the sale of tanks within the framework of current legislation is impossible" and rejected the application "because it is inconsistent with applicable law." The government's decision is based on "priority to Switzerland's commitments as a neutral country and to the reliability of its application of the rule of law."

On June 15, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to the Swiss parliament to allow the re-export of materiel to Ukraine.

REFERENCE. The neutrality of Switzerland is one of the main principles of foreign policy and declares that it has no right to participate in armed or political conflicts between other states. This policy is self-imposed and intended to "ensure external security and maintain peace." Switzerland has the oldest policy of military neutrality in the world, not participating in wars since its neutrality was established by the Treaty of Paris in 1815.

Previously, Switzerland refused to give permission to supply Gepard anti-aircraft rounds to Ukraine.

On January 11, 2023, Madrid announced that Switzerland was vetoing some types of weapons that Spain would like to supply to Ukraine.

On April 19, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz criticized Switzerland, which does not allow Berlin to supply the Swiss ammunition it has to the Defense Forces of Ukraine.

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