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Der Spiegel: German FM is trying to persuade Scholz to hand over Taurus missiles to Ukraine

by Olena Goncharova March 16, 2024 4:47 AM 2 min read
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock talks with the media prior to the EU-Ukraine Foreign Minister's meeting in Kyiv on Oct. 2, 2023. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)
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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is trying to persuade Chancellor Olaf Scholz behind the scenes to deliver Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

At a recent meeting, Baerbock and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron discussed the possibility of a "circular swap." At issue is the circular supply of long-range missiles - a deal in which London supplies Ukraine with additional Storm Shadow missiles in exchange for Germany replenishes British long-range missile stocks.

Scholz is 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.

Baerbock is exploring ways for Germany to potentially provide Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine while respecting chancellor's "red lines," according to Der Spiegel. One option under consideration involves Germany transferring the Taurus missiles to the U.K., who would then pass them on to Ukraine. However, the British would maintain control over the deployment and selection of targets for the missiles.

The German parliament's lower chamber, the Bundestag, on March 14 rejected the proposal to supply Ukraine with long-range Taurus missiles for use against Russia in its ongoing conflict.

The Taurus missiles, boasting a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles), have been under intense scrutiny since Ukraine initially requested them in May 2023.

Out of the 687 participating lawmakers, 494 voted against the delivery, while 188 voted in favor, with five abstentions recorded.

The recent rejection by the Bundestag marks the third instance in which the delivery of Taurus missiles to Ukraine has been voted against. The motion, initially proposed by the opposition parties Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), faced defeat in January and February as well.

Among the opponents of the motion were German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats (SPD), alongside the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the socialist Left Party.

Scholz, Macron, Tusk vow more arms purchases, new initiatives for Ukraine
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