Scholz deflects on sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine, citing need to prevent NATO-Russia war
Olaf Scholz (Photo: EPA)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in the context of the refusal to provide long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, said that it remains important for him "not to escalate" the war to a clash between Russia and NATO. At the same time, Germany spent more than 28 million euros on aid to Ukraine, he said in an interview with Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung.

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"... As the head of the government, I must take responsibility for issues of war and peace, as well as security in Europe – and this also applies to the issue of Taurus. In addition to strong support for Ukraine, one thing remains important for me: we will do everything possible, so that the war does not escalate, that is, a war between Russia and NATO [does not start]," he said.

Germany will not send its troops to Ukraine either, Scholz stressed.

With each supply of weapons to Ukraine, Germany will carefully consider what it will mean in the context of escalation, the official explained.

"That's why I decided the way I did (regarding Taurus. – ed. )," said Scholz.

    At the same time, he noted, Germany "more than any other country in Europe" supports Ukraine with weapons and ammunition – and spent more than 28 billion euros on this alone.

    Scholz noted that this amount is "more than many other countries combined."

    "And we'll do it as long as it takes. This shows Putin that he shouldn't just wait for everyone else to withdraw their support," the chancellor concluded.

    REFERENCE. Taurus KEPD 350/150 is a long-range air-to-surface subsonic operational-tactical cruise missile for high-precision strikes and engaging highly protected and deep-seated targets without the missile carrier entering the enemy's air defense zone. The baseline KEPD-350 variant features a tandem penetrating warhead weighing 481 kg, with approximately 50 kg of explosives. The missile's total weight with fuel is 1,360 kg, while its empty weight is 1,080 kg. The maximum flight range is at least 500 km.

    In October 2023, the German chancellor stated that the reasons for refusing to transfer Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine were "constitutional restrictions and the risk of war escalation".

    Already on February 17, 2024, he answered the same question in a different way. He said that the "best moment" is needed for this. On February 26, he stated that the refusal was based on "the risk of involving Germany in the war."

    On March 13, the General Secretary of the German Social Democratic Party Kevin Kühnert called for an end to the discussion on the supply of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

    On March 15, it became known that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Baerbock is behind the scenes trying to convince Scholz to hand over Taurus cruise missiles to Kyiv.

    On March 26, Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, said that he was receiving "unsatisfied comments" from Berlin whenever Ukraine called on Germany to hand over Taurus long-range cruise missiles.