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Pistorius: 'We are not refusing to deliver cruise missiles'

by Abbey Fenbert September 22, 2023 1:48 AM 2 min read
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius speaks at a press conference in France on Sept. 21, 2023. (Photo by Lou Benoist/AFP via Getty Images)
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In an interview with French media outlet Le Monde on Sept. 21, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that Germany is "not refusing" to send long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

"No, we are not refusing to deliver cruise missiles," Pistorius said. "We're examining the request and its consequences. For example, legal or even technical aspects have to be taken into account."

Pistorius spoke to Le Monde in a joint interview with French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, who was hosting his German counterpart at an air base in western France.

While France has delivered long-range SCALP missile systems to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz continues to deny Kyiv's requests for Taurus missiles.

Taurus missiles have a longer range than the French SCALP and British Storm Shadow weapons. The German cruise missiles can reach up to 500 kilometers, meaning Ukraine could use them to strike deep into Russian-occupied territories, including Crimea.

Kyiv has pledged not to use long-range missiles outside Ukraine's borders.

"It is clear to me what advantages they can offer to our Ukrainian friends," Pistorius told Le Monde. "At the same time, it is our duty to thoroughly weigh all the issues."

Pistorius reiterated that Germany is Ukraine's largest supporter in Europe.

"We supply many important weapons systems — especially for air defense — but also a lot of ammunition. All of this saves lives in Ukraine day after day," he said.

Pistorius also said that Germany is working to support Romania as it deals with the threat of Russian drones crashing in Romanian territory.

"We are coordinating calmly to ensure the Romanian airspace the protection it needs," Pistorius said.

Lecornu added that France had already deployed units to help secure Romanian airspace and condemned Russia's drone strikes.

"These incidents show, contrary to what you hear from some French politicians, that this war is not just the Ukrainians' war, but that this conflict poses broader questions of security in Central Europe and beyond," Lecornu said.

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