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Baerbock says Taurus-Storm Shadow missiles swap 'an option'

by Kateryna Denisova March 11, 2024 3:40 PM 2 min read
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock gives a press conference alongside the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia at the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin, on Aug. 22, 2023. (Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she was open to a deal in which London supplies Ukraine with additional Storm Shadow missiles in exchange for Germany backfilling British long-range missile stocks.

Baerbock's statement came after U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron proposed the idea of a so-called ring exchange in an interview with German Süddeutsche Zeitung on March 8.

"The ring exchange is a German invention, so to say. It would be an option. And we've already done it with other equipment some time ago," Baerbock told German public broadcaster ARD on March 10.

This way of transferring weapons has already taken place some time ago to avoid directly arming Ukraine, the minister said.

Taurus missiles, which have a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles), have been the subject of extensive discussion since Ukraine submitted a request to acquire the weapons in May 2023.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is reportedly against sending Taurus missiles to Kyiv because he fears the move will draw Germany into the war. Ukraine has received other long-range missiles, such as the Storm Shadow from the U.K. and the French-made SCALP.

U.K. officials have repeatedly made clear to Germany that Ukraine badly needs long-range missiles, Bloomberg reported.

Unlike Germany, both the U.K. and France have supplied Ukraine with its Storm Shadow and SCALP missiles with a range of over 250 kilometers (155 miles).

Germany's parliament supported a motion to deliver unspecified long-range weapons to Ukraine on Feb. 22, the same day it rejected sending Taurus missiles.

Ex-German president calls for Germany to deliver Taurus missiles to Ukraine
Gauck, who was president of Germany between 2012 and 2017, told Bild that “given the grueling trench warfare and the heinous airstrikes on the Ukrainian civilian population,” Berlin should supply Taurus missiles.
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