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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

German FM Pushes for Taurus Missiles to Ukraine: Der Spiegel

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is working behind the scenes to persuade Chancellor Olaf Scholz to supply Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

In a recent meeting, Baerbock and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron discussed the prospect of a “circular swap.” The focus is on the reciprocal provision of long-range missiles: a potential agreement where London would supply Ukraine with additional Storm Shadow missiles while Germany replenishes British long-range missile stocks.

However, Scholz opposed sending Taurus missiles to Kyiv out of concern that it might entangle Germany in the conflict. Ukraine has already received other long-range missiles, such as the Storm Shadow from the U.K. and the French-made SCALP.

According to Der Spiegel, Baerbock is exploring ways for Germany to potentially provide Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine while respecting the chancellor’s “red lines.” One option being considered involves Germany transferring the Taurus missiles to the U.K., which would then pass them on to Ukraine, with the British maintaining control over deployment and target selection.

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On March 14, the German parliament’s lower chamber, the Bundestag, rejected the proposal to supply Ukraine with long-range Taurus missiles for use against Russia in the ongoing conflict.

The Taurus missiles, with a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles), have been under scrutiny since Ukraine first requested them in May 2023.

Out of 687 participating lawmakers, 494 voted against the delivery, while 188 voted in favor, with five abstentions recorded.

This recent rejection by the Bundestag marks the third instance in which the delivery of Taurus missiles to Ukraine has been voted against. The motion, initially proposed by the opposition parties Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), faced defeat in January and February as well.

Opponents of the motion included German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), alongside the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the socialist Left Party.

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