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Bundestag votes against Taurus missiles for Ukraine for third time in 2024

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 14, 2024 6:40 PM 2 min read
Bundestag.
Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) speaks in the debate on ten years of the Russian war in Ukraine in the Bundestag. (Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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The German parliament's lower chamber, the Bundestag, on March 14 voted against supplying Ukraine with long-range Taurus missiles to fight Russia in its all-out war.

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.

Of the 687 lawmakers who participated in the vote, 494 voted against the delivery, with 188 voting in favor and five abstaining.

This is the third time the Bundestag voted against delivering Taurus missiles to Ukraine. The motion, submitted by the opposition parties Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), was also voted down in January and February.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats (SPD) opposed the motion to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine, as well as the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the socialist Left Party.

Johann Wadephul, the CDU's deputy parliamentary group leader, criticized the SPD's stance and the delay in supplying weapons to Ukraine.

"Again and again, their supposed prudence has only ever fueled Mr. (Vladimir) Putin in his aggression against Ukraine. That is the result," Wadephul said.

The representatives of the Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), who sit in the government with SPD,  said that they do not support CDU/CSU's motion but agreed on the demand to deliver long-range weapons, such as Taurus missiles, to Ukraine.

"We are all aware of the consequences of this decision. And we, as the Greens, will not let anyone deny us, not even the Chancellor," Agnieszka Brugger, the Greens' member, said, adding that the party would "carefully weigh up all the risks" of the decision.

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.

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).

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