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German Businessman Confirms Delivery of Swiss-Made Armored Vehicles to Ukraine

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German Flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German businessman Thomas Bockhold has claimed responsibility for re-exporting Swiss-made armored vehicles to Ukraine, stressing however that he has removed the weaponry from the vehicles before sending them to Kiev, Swiss newspaper Neue Zuericher Zeitung (NZZ) reported.
Last week, Swiss media released photos of two Eagle I armored vehicles spotted on the battlefield in Ukraine. The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) launched an inquiry to establish how the vehicles ended up at the disposal of the Ukrainian army.
Bockhold, the owner of German company FWW Fahrzeugwerke, told the Swiss newspaper that he was the one who had sent the vehicles to Ukraine, but only after completely demilitarizing them and receiving all necessary documents, including a German export license.
The businessman reportedly acquired 27 Swiss-made Eagle I vehicles in 2013 from Denmark, which imported them from Switzerland back in the 1990s. Although the armored vehicles were demilitarized, they were still considered as military equipment under the Swiss law and thus, required the export authorization of the Swiss authorities, the report said.
At the same time, SECO had received no requests from any German firm for the export authorization of Eagle I vehicles over the past years, the NZZ reported, citing the secretariat.
Earlier in the month, SECO said that it had applied its right for neutrality regarding military exports in the context of the Ukraine conflict. In accordance with the principle of equal treatment and the law on war material, the country cannot approve supplies of domestically produced weapons and military equipment to Ukraine as long as Kiev is involved in an international armed conflict.
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