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A South Korean Air Force F-15K fighter jet flying with a Taurus long-range air-to-surface missile during an exercise in Taean-gun, South Korea on Sept. 12, 2017. (South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)
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The U.K. government has discreetly urged Berlin to supply Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine, as Germany refuses to greenlight this critical capability, Bloomberg reported on March 1, citing undisclosed sources.

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 reiterated his refusal to provide the missiles to Ukraine on Feb. 26, citing the alleged risk of drawing Berlin into the war.

Scholz later voiced fears that "if used incorrectly, (Taurus missiles) could reach a target in Moscow."

U.K. officials have repeatedly made clear to Germany that Ukraine badly needs long-range missiles, Bloomberg reported. One proposed solution allegedly involved a swap deal, where the U.K. would supply Ukraine with additional Storm Shadow missiles, and Germany would then backfill British long-range missile stocks.

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).

Scholz came under criticism recently when he mentioned to journalists that the U.K. and France assist Ukraine with missile guidance. British lawmaker Tobias Ellwood accused the chancellor of a "flagrant abuse of intelligence."

The German chancellor has repeatedly argued against sending the missiles allegedly because German soldiers would have to be sent to Ukraine to assist with the targeting.

The German parliament defense committee head, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, responded on X that Scholz's claim was "false" and that "German soldiers are not needed on Ukrainian soil for Taurus."

Bundestag votes against Taurus missiles for Ukraine, supports sending ‘necessary long-range missiles’
The German parliament held two votes on providing long-range weapons to Ukraine on Feb. 22, first rejecting a motion explicitly mentioning Taurus missiles, followed by supporting a motion calling for Germany to send additional long-range weapons.
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