Switzerland supports the delivery of 25 decommissioned Leopard 2 tanks to Germany – as long as they are not used in Ukraine. This was preceded by a corresponding request from the Federal Government.
The Swiss government has voted in favor of selling back 25 decommissioned Leopard 2 tanks to German manufacturer Rheinmetall. The condition, however, is that the weapons are not exported to Ukraine. The decision now has to be approved by the Swiss Federal Assembly, which consists of the National Council and the smaller Council of States. After that, the planned export still has to be approved by the Swiss Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Please from Berlin
In February, Germany’s Economics Minister Robert Habeck and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius asked for the Leopard 2 tanks to be sold back to the German manufacturer Rheinmetall. This is intended to replace tanks that are being delivered to Ukraine. The ministers assured neutral Switzerland that they would not pass on the war equipment to Ukraine.
The Swiss Army currently has 134 reconditioned Leopard 2 A4 WE tanks and another 96 non-refurbished mothballed tanks. “No further use is planned for 25 of the 96 tanks decommissioned by the Swiss army,” the Federal Council said. “Therefore, this number can be decommissioned and sold without preventing the Army from meeting its own needs.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Switzerland to confront its longstanding constitutional neutrality. Among other things, this prohibits the export of Swiss-made or Swiss-owned weapons to warring parties.