icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
3 Aug, 2023 20:38

Germany repeats objection to long-range missiles for Ukraine

Delivering such weapons to Kiev is not Berlin’s “top priority,” the country’s defense minister has said
Germany repeats objection to long-range missiles for Ukraine

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Thursday again ruled out delivering sophisticated long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, citing “obvious” concerns over such a move.

“We continue to believe that this is not our top priority right now,” Pistorius said while speaking to reporters during a visit to a mountain infantry brigade in Bavaria. Berlin’s concerns over supplying such “special range” weaponry were “obvious,” he said, pointing out Washington’s own reluctance to provide Kiev with longer-range systems. 

“Our American allies are not delivering these cruise missiles either,” Pistorius stated.
Swedish-German Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missiles are air-launched munitions that boast a massive 500kg warhead and can travel a distance of over 500km (310 miles), according to official data. 

Berlin has been reluctant to supply Kiev with long-range weaponry despite the repeated demands by top Ukrainian officials. Last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz explained that Kiev might use such munitions to strike deep into Russian territory, which would result in a major escalation. 

“We carefully check all the requests we receive. But for us there is a principle that I share with the US president – we do not want the weapons we supply to be used to attack Russian territories,” Scholz stated.

Over the course of the ongoing conflict, which broke out in February 2022, Germany has been among the few Western nations reluctant to meet all of the ever-growing Ukrainian demands for increasingly sophisticated weaponry. Early this year, however, Berlin gave in to mounting pressure and allowed re-exports of German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and also delivered a number of them from its own stocks. 

Moscow has repeatedly urged the collective West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with assorted weaponry, arguing that doing so will only prolong the conflict and inflict more damage on the country rather than change its ultimate outcome. A significant amount of Western-supplied hardware, including Leopard 2 tanks and US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, has been destroyed in recent weeks after Kiev launched its much-heralded counteroffensive, which has thus failed to yield any tangible result.