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Austria does not want to train Ukrainian military on Leopard 2 tanks

Monday, 13 February 2023, 11:34
Austria does not want to train Ukrainian military on Leopard 2 tanks

Austria does not want to train Ukrainian soldiers on the Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

Source: Austrian Defence Minister Claudia Tanner in a written statement to the Ö1 Morgenjournal news outlet, as European Pravda reports, citing Kurier

Details: It is "a sovereign decision of each state to support Ukraine within the framework of its laws," the statement said.


International law expert Ralph Yanik told the TV channel that the neutrality of the training is not an obstacle, as there is an EU decision on this.

In addition, foreign soldiers, for example, from NATO countries, like Hungary and the Czech Republic, are undergoing training on Austrian Leopard 2 tanks, Ö1 reports, citing an army source. Austria has a single tank battalion with 48 Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

Janik emphasised that Austrian neutrality is retreating if there is a relevant decision of the EU Council. As for military support for Ukraine, it has been in place since October.

If you don't train Ukrainian soldiers, "you do it for political reasons," he said, alluding to the sensitive domestic political debate over neutrality. "We prefer to live with this remnant of neutrality instead of testing the boundaries that the law does not see so narrowly," Yanik said.

The Austrian interpretation seems harsh compared to other neutral countries in Europe. For example, neutral Ireland trains Ukrainian soldiers to clear mines.

In Switzerland, on the other hand, there is a fierce debate over whether to allow supplies of locally produced weapons to Ukraine. This is also about the interests of the Swiss arms industry, which is worried about its markets.

Previously: Austria and Hungary agree not to supply weapons to Ukraine.

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