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Switzerland rejects sale of 96 Leopard 1 A5 tanks for use in Ukraine

The German army’s Leopard 1A5 at the 2015 military day in Uffenheim, Germany. File photo: Rainer Lippert/Wikimedia Commons
Switzerland rejects sale of 96 Leopard 1 A5 tanks for use in Ukraine

Switzerland’s Federal Council rejected an application by Ruag AG to sell 96 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks for use in Ukraine, “as it contradicts current law,” according to a statement published by the Swiss government portal on 28 June.

“Priority was thus given to aspects of Switzerland’s neutrality policy and its reliability as a constitutional state,” the statement reads.

On 27 April 2023, the Swiss state-owned arms manufacturer Ruag AG submitted an application to Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to trade 96 used and non-operational Leopard 1 A5 tanks, stored in Italy, so that they were refurbished in Germany and subsequently re-exported to Ukraine.

“The Federal Council has come to the conclusion that the sale of the 96 tanks is not possible on the basis of current law. In particular, such a sale would be contrary to the War Material Act and would entail an adjustment of the neutrality policy,” the statement reads.

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