Switzerland’s decommissioned Leopard 2 tanks could be sold to European countries after being withdrawn from the Swiss army.
Switzerland has large stocks of Leopard tanks that the army no longer needs. Now the voices to sell the tanks overseas are growing louder, public broadcaster SRF reported on Monday.
Leopard tanks from Switzerland could replace those delivered to Ukraine in recipient countries, according to the report.
The number of tanks in question is believed to be 96, which are located in hangars in eastern Switzerland, SRF said.
Although Switzerland does not want to supply arms to Ukraine for neutrality reasons, there is a loophole, according to SRF.
The report indicates that reselling the tanks to the manufacturer, Rheinmetall, for example, is quite possible. To do this, however, Switzerland would first have to officially withdraw the tanks in question from the army.
Buyer countries, including Germany, could then supply their tanks to Ukraine and use the Swiss tanks for their armies.
The SRF said that Switzerland would hardly accept a direct transfer of Swiss tanks to Ukraine.
More than 10 years ago, Switzerland had already sold 42 decommissioned Leopard tanks to Rheinmetall.
In June, the German government asked the Swiss government if the tanks could be delivered to third countries in Europe.
Bern had approved the continuation of the delivery. According to the report, the tanks went to the Czech Republic as part of an exchange of rings, which in return provided other tanks to Ukraine, Rheinmetall confirmed to SRF.
SRF said a “huge change of opinion” is currently taking place in Bern regarding Leopard deliveries abroad.
Although the Security Policy Committee narrowly said no to the issue last week, a majority could be formed in the coming weeks, SRF reported.
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