Swiss say Germany can freely dispose of Leopard 2 tanks sold back to Rheinmetall

Leopard 2 tanks take position during a visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel at NATO new spearhead force “VJTF 2019” in Munster, Germany May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

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BERLIN, June 3 (Reuters) – Switzerland’s defense procurement office said on Friday it had given the go-ahead for Germany to freely dispose of Leopard 2 tanks previously sold back to defense group Rheinmetall.

European countries, seeking to replenish their arms stocks after providing weapons to Ukraine, have submitted requests to Switzerland for the transfer of surplus material from previous or current armed forces stocks.

“Germany can freely dispose of Leopard 2 tanks already sold back to the Rheinmetall company twelve years ago, as there are no longer any requirements here,” the procurement office said.

“Mothballed Leopard 2 tanks will not be passed on to Poland; this would require a decommissioning and thus a decision by parliament,” it added.

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Writing by Paul Carrel, editing by Rachel More

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