Armored vehicles of neutral Switzerland spotted in Donetsk Oblast

24 March, 01:36 PM
Mowag Eagel I (Photo:primeportal)

Mowag Eagel I (Photo:primeportal)

One or two Eagle I armoured vehicles made by Swiss company Mowag have been photographed in the Ukrainian frontline towns of Avdiyivka and Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast, despite Switzerland banning re-exports of its weapons, a Swiss newspaper reports.

Swiss daily newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung published a photo taken by Spanish war photographer José Colón, who was photographing the ruined town of Chasiv Yar and accidentally took a picture of what was highly likely an Eagle I.

Another photo of a Swiss armoured vehicle was taken by AFP photographer Aris Messinis in Avdiyivka.

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It isn't clear whether the same vehicle was photographed – or how the Swiss-made machinery got to Ukraine, Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote.

Switzerland sold 36 Eagle I armored vehicles to Denmark in the 1990s. However, the Danish Ministry of Defense denies transferring these vehicles to Kyiv. In 2012 Switzerland approved Copenhagen's request for re-export of 27 armoured vehicles to a German private company. Like the Danes, Germans undertook not to re-export their Eagle Is.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is currently investigating whether the regulations of war material exports were violated. Switzerland does not export military goods to countries in war.

The origin of the armoured vehicle can be identified only by the chassis number, Swissinfo wrote. The SECO is not able to do so as for now. They are in contact with Berlin, but the situation remains unclear.

The Swiss government on March 8 rebuffed requests from other countries – including Spain, Germany and Denmark – to relax its military goods re-export ban.

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