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British MP says Scholz revealed sensitive information on UK military support to Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 29, 2024 3:59 PM 2 min read
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a press conference at the end of a European Union summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Oct. 27, 2023. (John Thys/AFP via Getty Images)
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British MP Tobias Ellwood accused German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of a "flagrant abuse of intelligence" when he mentioned to journalists that the British and French support Ukraine with missile guidance, the Telegraph reported on Feb. 28.

Scholz made the comments on Feb. 26 when he again ruled out Berlin delivering long-range Taurus missiles to Kyiv.

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.

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, including the Storm Shadow from the U.K. and the French-made SCALP.

"It is a very far-reaching weapon, and what the British and French are doing in terms of target control and accompanying target control cannot be done in Germany," Scholz told reporters.

German MP 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."

Ellwood said that the comments were "a flagrant abuse of intelligence deliberately designed to distract from Germany's reluctance to arm Ukraine with its own long-range missile system."

Scholz's comments will "be used by Russia to racket up the escalator ladder," Ellwood said.

German MP Norbert Rottgen said that Scholz's statement "regarding France and Britain's alleged involvement in operating long-range cruise missiles used in Ukraine is completely irresponsible."

A British government spokesperson said on Feb. 29 that there is a "small number of personnel" in Ukraine who support the Ukrainian military, but there are no "plans for large-scale deployment."

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