Friday, September 29, 2023

Swiss government rejects Leopard 1 export to Ukraine

The Swiss Federal Council on Wednesday rejected a request by the state-owned defense company Ruag to sell 96 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks to Ukraine.

The government’s press service said the decision was motivated by Switzerland’s neutral status.

“On 28 June, the Federal Council rejected a request from Ruag AG concerning the export of 96 Leopard 1A5 tanks destined for Ukraine as it is inconsistent with applicable law. It has therefore given priority to Switzerland’s commitments as a neutral country and to the reliability of its application of the rule of law,” its statement said.


The rejection applies to 96 non-operational Leopard 1 tanks currently stored in Italy, which are the property of Ruag. The proposal was for the vehicles to be refurbished in Germany and then sent to Ukraine.

Switzerland’s long-standing position has been one of well-armed military neutrality and the landlocked country of 8.8 million people has mandatory conscription for men.

The long tradition of neutrality has been hotly debated since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

While the wealthy Alpine country, which is not a member of the European Union, has followed the bloc’s lead on sanctions targeting Moscow, it has so far shown less flexibility on its military neutrality.

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Executive Editor


Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense adviser and a consultant. He graduated in business management and worked at leading European defense companies before becoming a military journalist. read more



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