Swiss President Appears Sceptical About Leopard Tank Sale

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Switzerland has 230 Leopard 2 tanks, of which 134 are in service and 96 not in use. Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Swiss President Alain Berset has expressed scepticism about requests from Germany and the Czech Republic to Switzerland to buy back old Leopard 2 tanks to replace tanks used by EU and NATO members in Ukraine.

This content was published on March 8, 2023 March 8, 2023 minutes Keystone-SDA/sb
  • عربي (ar) الرئيس السويسري يشكك في إمكانية إعادة شراء دبابات ليوبارد 2
  • Pусский (ru) президент швейцарии скептически относится к продаже танков leopard

“Arms exports are not possible as long as we have a legal framework in Switzerland... for the government we must keep, and we intend to keep, this legal framework and work within it,” he told reporters on Tuesday during his visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Switzerland has come under increasing international pressure over the past few months after rejecting requests by Germany, Spain and Denmark to re-export tanks or ammunition to third countries.

+ switzerland cannot remain neutral over war, says ukrainian ambassador

Last week it was reported that the German Defence Minister and Economics Minister had sent a letter to Swiss Defence Minister Viola Amherd last month February, asking that Switzerland sell some old tanks back to the German manufacturer Rheinmetall. This would allow the company to replace tanks used by EU and NATO members in Ukraine, but they could also be used for spare parts.

+ germany asks switzerland for old leopard tanks

Parliament has the final say on whether mothballed Leopard tanks stored in Switzerland can be declared“out of service” and sold to European partners.

Amherd said on Monday that once Switzerland's defence needs are met, there will be a“certain number of tanks that we will not need and that we can make available if parliament declares them out of service”.

Various proposals are currently being discussed in parliament aimed at seeking legal amendments on the export of Swiss war materiel. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives is due to discuss a proposal to call for arms exports to a warring country if the UN said that a country has violated international law.

+ parliament throws out first proposal to ease export of swiss war materiel

Should parliament revise the legal framework for armed neutrality, the government would act accordingly, Berset told reporters.



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