Switzerland Investigates Leopard 1 Transfer to Ukraine via Germany

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 11:53 AM, August 22, 2023
  • 832
Switzerland Investigates Leopard 1 Transfer to Ukraine via Germany
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Switzerland said it launched an investigation against RUAG, which had an intention to sell Leopard 1 battle tanks to Ukraine through Germany’s Rheinmetall.

The Swiss government blocked the sale as it violated its status as a “neutral” country. It said in an official statement that it will probe into the RUAG-Rheinmetall contract signed in February, as per which the latter was to take possession of the tanks to conduct repairs and later transfer them to Kyiv. The deal said the supply would be made only with the permission of the competent authorities.

RUAG bought 96 Leopard 1 battle tanks from Italy in 2016. According to the company, they were purchased as commercial goods and as equipment to supply spare parts.

In early 2023, Rheinmetall approached RUAG with a request to buy the tanks that were still stored in Italy.

Switzerland officially rejected re-export of Leopard 1s to Ukraine in June.

“The investigation will focus on the trade of Leopard 1 tanks, including the circumstances of their purchase in 2016 and the signing of the contract with Rheinmetall,” the Swiss government said.

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