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German MP: Scholz is blocking Taurus missiles transfer to Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 4, 2023 5:01 PM 1 min read
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conferenc in Berlin on July 14, 2023. (Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is the only person blocking the decision within the governing coalition to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine, German MP Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann wrote on Twitter on Sept. 4.

"He doesn't want to deliver Taurus 'right now.' But 'right now' people in Ukraine continue to die," Strack-Zimmermann said.  

"He alone blocks this decision within the coalition," the Free Democratic Party (FDP) MP added, describing this as "irresponsible."

Taurus missiles have a range of up to 500 kilometers, meaning Ukraine could use them to strike deep into Russian-occupied territories, including Crimea.

German newspaper Bild reported on Sept. 4 that Germany is concerned the long-range missiles will be used in strikes on Russian territory, despite assurance from Kyiv that they would only use the weapons to liberate Ukrainian territory.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba emphasized on Aug. 11 that Taurus missiles will be "used solely inside our borders."

"The longer the missile range, the shorter the war," Kuleba argued.

Discussions on the transfer of Taurus missiles from Germany have been ongoing throughout the summer.

Ukraine submitted a request for Germany’s air-launched cruise missiles earlier in May, with some German officials voicing support for the transfer.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius had said on June 5 that Germany did not plan to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles.

On Aug. 7, however,  Ukrainian lawmaker Yehor Cherniev said that key factions in the German parliament have reached consensus, and that they were ready to approve the transfer of the missiles to Kyiv.

On Aug. 11, the German newspaper Spiegel reported that Berlin is considering providing Taurus missiles modified not to be able to target Russia.

The Ukrainian military already operates British Storm Shadow and French SCALP long-range missiles. Kyiv continues to appeal to its partners to also acquire the German Taurus missiles and U.S. ATACMS.

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