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Germany reaffirms position on sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reiterated his reluctance to supply long-range weaponry to Kiev, DPA has reported

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has ruled out the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, citing the risk of Berlin’s direct or indirect involvement in the Ukraine conflict, DPA reported on Tuesday.

Kiev has long been requesting the German weapons, but Scholz has been reluctant to supply them out of fear of escalating hostilities. The chancellor, who is facing increased pressure on the issue from German MPs and coalition partners, argued that the use of such weapons would require tighter control from Berlin and the presence of German specialists on the ground. Scholz also said he would not allow the nation’s troops to become directly involved in the Ukraine conflict.

“My clarity is there. It is my job as chancellor, as head of the government, to be precise and not raise any misleading expectations. My answers are correspondingly clear,” Scholz said at a press conference in Berlin on Monday, as quoted by DPA. The German chancellor was asked whether he viewed a missile swap with the UK as an option instead of direct delivery.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told state broadcaster ARD on Sunday that Berlin could accept the UK’s offer to supply British Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine in exchange for Taurus deliveries to the UK.

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Germany could use UK to get missiles to Kiev – FM

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron did not rule out such an approach last week, hinting that London was willing to barter weaponry. When asked by Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung whether his nation could help Berlin with its problems delivering Taurus missiles, Cameron said London was “determined to work closely with our German partners on this issue as well as on all the other ones to help Ukraine.”

Commenting on Scholz’s statement on Tuesday, Social Democratic Party (SPD) General Secretary Kevin Kuhnert called for an end to the debate about Taurus supplies to Ukraine, saying people should “deal with the fact that the chancellor has made a decision.”

According to the chancellor, Kiev could use the German-made missiles, which have a range of up to 500km, to strike targets deep inside Russian territory, potentially provoking a dangerous escalation.

 

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