Switzerland to sell Germany Leopard-2 tanks to replenish stocks after Ukraine donations
The Swiss parliament has decided to decommission 25 Leopard-2 tanks and sell them to Germany, which is seeking to help restore its own stockpile after deliveries to Ukraine
This is reported by Reuters.
"We are very happy and grateful for this decision. We need these tanks, they will fill gaps with us and our European partners," Michel Fluegger, Germany's ambassador to Switzerland, said.
In February, Germany asked Switzerland to sell some of the 96 Leopard-2 tanks to Rheinmetall. In order to comply with Swiss neutrality laws, Berlin assured Bern that the weapons would not go to Ukraine, but would remain in Germany or with a NATO or European Union ally.
Reuters recalled that requests from Germany, Denmark and Spain to allow Swiss-made weapons they had previously purchased to enter Ukraine were blocked by Bern, citing Switzerland's neutrality, which prohibits sending weapons directly or indirectly to combatants during a war.
According to German Ambassador Fluegger, the process of buying Swiss weapons could become difficult if the country does not change its law on war materials.
"We have purchased a lot of weapons, systems or components or ammunition from Switzerland, including our NATO partners, and we would now like to give some of these systems to Ukraine."
Now the Swiss cabinet must officially support the export of Leopard 2 to Germany. However, this is expected to be a formality after the head of the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Viola Amherd, stated that the supply of tanks to Germany is in line with the Swiss law on neutrality and in the country's interests.
"In this way we can also contribute to security in Europe and thus directly to the security of our country," Swiss Defence Minister Viola Amherd noted.
Also in June, the Swiss Federal Council rejected a request from the Swiss defense firm Ruag to sell 96 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks for further transfer to Ukraine, citing the country's neutral status.