Unwilling to send Taurus missiles to Kiev as they can hit targets in Moscow - Olaf Scholz

"VAN" (International Desk - 01.03.2024) :: Germany’s Chancellor emphasized that it would be necessary to send German military personnel to Ukraine to ensure control over the use of Taurus.

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reiterated that he objects to providing Ukraine with the Taurus long-range cruise missiles, since if the missiles are not programed properly, they could hit targets in Moscow.

"[The Taurus missiles] have a range of 500 kilometers, and if used incorrectly, they can hit a designated target somewhere in Moscow," Scholz told members of the public in Dresden.

The meeting was broadcast on the German government’s website.

In addition, the chancellor emphasized that it would be necessary to send German military personnel to Ukraine to ensure control over the use of Taurus. However, Scholz assured that this can be ruled out.

"In our case it would mean that we would have to get engaged [in the conflict] to be able to do this. I think it is impossible," he concluded.

Earlier, Scholz said at a conference organized by the DPA agency that he would not send Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, justifying his refusal by being unwilling to have his country drawn into the conflict. The chancellor said that he was "very annoyed" by the "lack of balance" between what Kiev really needs and the Taurus debate.

On February 22, the Bundestag, or German parliament, supported a resolution submitted by the coalition of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens, and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), which urged to provide Ukraine with long-range weapons. The document says that the long-term military support for Ukraine involves "the delivery of additional necessary long-range weapons systems and ammunition" in order to enable Ukraine to carry out "targeted attacks on strategically important targets deep behind the lines of" the Russian forces. The capabilities mentioned in the resolution do not directly mention the Taurus cruise missiles by name.

On the same day, the Bundestag voted down a CDU/CSU resolution demanding that Germany supply Kiev with Taurus missiles. Ten years ago, about 600 of these missiles were purchased for the Bundeswehr. Taurus cruise missiles have been compared to the UK’s Storm Shadow, which have already been given to Ukraine. However, the German-Swedish missiles have a slightly longer range - up to 500 kilometers.

In May 2023, then British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the transfer of Storm Shadow missiles with a range of about 250 kilometers to Ukraine.


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