Germany has requested the Swiss Ministry of Defense to purchase Leopard 2 main battle tanks from the 1980s. These tanks are intended to replace the ones that Germany and other EU countries have supplied to Ukraine. However, the exact number of tanks Germany is looking to acquire has not been disclosed by the Swiss Ministry of Defense.
The current situation in Ukraine is delicate, and Germany is hoping to bolster Ukraine‘s defence capabilities. For this, Germany needs the assistance of Switzerland.
Switzerland has 230 Leopard 2 tanks, of which 134 are currently in use and 96 have been removed from active service. Although they have been taken out of service, they have not actually been “decommissioned” as Swiss defence ministry spokesman Renato Kalbermatten stated.
Will Switzerland comply?
Under Swiss law, only decommissioned material can be sold, therefore it is up to Parliament to decide if the material should be decommissioned.
The spring session of Parliament is underway, and while it is uncertain if they will come to a resolution in the near future, the war against Ukraine and the delivery of arms remains a heated topic of discussion. Switzerland, being a neutral nation, has forbidden Germany and other nations from transferring Swiss-made ammunition to Ukraine, causing debate over if and how these regulations should be amended.
But, will Switzerland budge this time to help Ukraine?
Switzerland has had a lax attitude towards sanctions against Russian oligarchs. The country is seen as a safe haven for these wealthy figures, as it is a tax haven and has a strong banking system. It also has a history of neutrality, which is attractive to those looking to escape sanctions.
However, the country is increasingly being seen as a weak link in the US sanctions regime against Russia, due to allegations of some banks being used to evade sanctions. Additionally, some Swiss politicians have been accused of taking bribes from Russian figures.
Well, what do you think is important for it? The Russian oligarch’s money which will come in Swiss banks for decades to come? Or supporting Ukraine because Germany wants it to?
It’s not that hard.
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