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Germany’s Scholz still holding off on Taurus delivery to Ukraine

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz continues to oppose the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, despite growing pressure from his coalition.

On Thursday, Germany’s coalition parliamentary groups want to introduce a joint motion to the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, to deliver “additional, necessary long-range weapons systems and ammunition.”

The weapons should enable Ukraine to “enable targeted attacks on strategically relevant targets far to the rear of the Russian aggressor,” the motion continues.

Taurus cruise missiles would fulfil these requirements, but are not explicitly mentioned in the motion.

The chancellor “wholeheartedly” supports this motion, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in Berlin on Wednesday.

He did not even mention the word “Taurus,” but said for Scholz, as far as the “delivery of a special weapon system is concerned, he is sticking to his position.”

Ukraine officially requested Taurus cruise missiles from the German government in May. The weapons can hit targets up to 500 kilometres away with great precision.

Scholz has blocked their delivery to Ukraine, reportedly out of concern that the highly capable weapon might be used by Ukrainian forces to strike sensitive Russian targets and thereby escalate tensions between Germany and Russia. The German chancellor decided in early October not to send Ukraine the sophisticated missiles.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Robert Habeck, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, attend the meeting of the German Cabinet in the Federal Chancellery. Carsten Koall/dpa

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Robert Habeck, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, attend the meeting of the German Cabinet in the Federal Chancellery. Carsten Koall/dpa

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