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Swiss President Alain Berset arrives in Kyiv

by Alexander Khrebet November 25, 2023 11:12 AM 2 min read
Switzerland’s President Alain Berset steppes out the Ukrainian train upon arrival in Kyiv on Nov. 25, 2023. (Alain Berset/X)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Swiss President Alain Berset arrived in Kyiv to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and attend the International Summit on Food Security scheduled for Nov. 25.

“The focus is on the impact of Russia’s war of aggression on world food security and Switzerland's long-term support for Ukraine,” Berset said on X upon arrival.

Switzerland approved the transfer of 25 decommissioned Leopard 2 tanks to Germany on Nov. 22 under the condition that they must not leave EU or NATO member states.

“Germany has assured that the tanks sold will remain in Germany or with NATO or EU partners in order to close its own gaps,” the Swiss Federal Council said.

The battle tanks will go to their original manufacturer, the German arms company Rheinmetall.

According to the Swiss Federal Council, the German government sent a request in February 2023, asking the Swiss government to allow the sale to Rheinmetall and assured “that the battle tanks would not be forwarded to Ukraine.”

Swiss law does not allow the delivery of Swiss weapons to combat zones, even when supplied by an intermediary country, due to its long-standing neutrality policy.  

The Swiss parliament has repeatedly voted against proposals to amend the rules regarding the re-export of Swiss-made weapons to Ukraine.

The country also blocked the transfer of Swiss-made Leopard 1 tanks from Italy to Ukraine in June.

The parliamentary elections in October resulted in the populist, right-wing Swiss People’s Party winning the most seats.

Members of the party boycotted Zelensky's speech to the Swiss parliament on June 15, claiming it violated the country's tradition of neutrality.

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