Germany's Scholz Defies Pressure, Refuses Taurus Missiles to Ukraine Amid Russian Interception

By John Lopez

Mar 13, 2024 01:08 PM EDT

In the face of mounting international and domestic pressure, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has steadfastly refused to supply Ukraine with German-made Taurus cruise missiles. 

This decision comes amidst concerns over escalating tensions with Russia and a recent Russian interception of confidential discussions regarding potential scenarios if Taurus missiles were sent to Ukraine.

A Taurus KEPD 350 German-Swedish air-launched cruise missile, manufactured by Taurus Systems GmbH is on display as Bavarian State Premier visits European multinational missiles manufacturer MBDA in Schrobenhausen, southern Germany, on March 5, 2024. (Photo by Sebastian PIEKNIK / AFP)
(Photo : Photo by SEBASTIAN PIEKNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Germany's Taurus Missile Standoff

For months, allies of Ukraine and voices within Germany have urged the country to provide military aid to Ukraine, which has been facing increasing aggression from Russia. 

The Taurus cruise missiles, known for their precision and long-range capabilities, were seen as a potential game-changer in Ukraine's defense against Russian forces.

However, Chancellor Scholz has remained resolute in his stance, citing concerns about Germany becoming directly involved in the conflict and the logistical challenges of deploying Bundeswehr soldiers to train Ukrainian forces in the operation of the missiles. 

Despite proposals from allies, including an exchange program with Britain involving Storm Shadow missiles, Scholz has refused to budge.

READ MORE: Russia's Vladimir Putin Is Eyeing Big Tax Increases After Election to Fund the Country's War in Ukraine

Internal Pressure 

The reluctance to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine has sparked debate within Germany's political landscape. 

While some, like Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, have cautiously entertained the idea of an exchange deal with Britain, others, such as CDU leader Friedrich Merz, have called for a direct delivery of the missiles to Ukraine. 

The issue has also divided public opinion, with a recent poll showing that 61% of respondents oppose supplying Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

The debate surrounding the Taurus missiles highlights broader concerns about Germany's role in the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Critics argue that Germany's reluctance to provide military aid may signal a lack of commitment to supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

They also question Chancellor Scholz's assertion that German troops must be involved in training Ukrainian forces, pointing to examples of other European countries providing similar equipment without direct military involvement.

Russian Leak

The recent interception of confidential discussions regarding the potential deployment of Taurus missiles has further complicated matters. The leak, believed to be orchestrated by Russia, has raised concerns about the security of sensitive military information and prompted calls for a thorough investigation by German authorities.

Despite the challenges and controversies surrounding the issue, Chancellor Scholz remains steadfast in his decision. While some criticize his handling of the Taurus question as defeatist and lacking in communication, others view it as a principled stance to avoid further escalation of the conflict.

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