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30 Sep, 2023 15:14

Ukraine can use German missiles to attack Russia – Bundestag

The Bundestag’s Defense Committee head, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann urged Chancellor Olaf Scholz to give Kiev Taurus rockets
Ukraine can use German missiles to attack Russia – Bundestag

The head of the Bundestag’s Defense Committee Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann has spoken in favor of providing Ukraine with German-made Taurus cruise missiles. The lawmaker also argued that Kiev has the right to strike targets in Crimea, and on Russian soil in general.

So far, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has been reluctant to supply the long-range rockets to Kiev, despite its repeated requests.

In an interview with Berliner Morgenpost newspaper published on Saturday, Strack-Zimmermann argued that Berlin “should now immediately deliver Taurus,” as the deployment of such cruise missiles could help the Ukrainian military disrupt Russian supply lines.

When asked if she had any issue with Kiev potentially using these rockets to strike targets on Russian soil, the MP replied in the negative, adding that “that includes Crimea.” According to the lawmaker, international law gives Ukraine the right to “attack military targets also on the territory of the Russian aggressor,” using any weapons at its disposal, regardless of their origin. The deliberate use of Taurus missiles against civilians would, however, be off-limits, much like the deployment of German troops to Ukraine, Strack-Zimmermann clarified.

When asked whether she was concerned over the potential cutting of American aid to Kiev should Donald Trump become president next year, the head of the Bundestag Defense Committee acknowledged that, without Washington’s support, the conflict would develop differently. However, she insisted that, if Europe were united in its effort, it could shoulder the burden of supporting Ukraine alone.

While the UK and France have in recent months provided Ukraine with their respective long-range Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG missiles, the German government has so far been unwilling to follow suit. Explaining this stance, Chancellor Scholz has said that Ukrainian attacks deep into Russian territory could trigger a major escalation. Other German officials have pointed out that the US has yet to make a similar move.

The Taurus missile carries a 500-kilogram warhead and has a range of about 500 kilometers (300 miles).

Earlier this month, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that, while she fully understands Kiev’s desire to get hold of these rockets, such deliveries are “not something that can be done quickly,” as “every detail has to be worked out beforehand.

Russia, for its part, has consistently warned the West against supplying arms to Kiev, arguing that it only prolongs this conflict, while also risking a direct confrontation between NATO and Moscow.

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