U.S. hopes its provision of long-range ATACMS missiles will influence Germany's decision on Taurus transfer

German Chancellor holds a UAV during his visit to Federal Police Department in Wisbaden on April 25
German Chancellor holds a UAV during his visit to Federal Police Department in Wisbaden on April 25

The U.S. hopes that its provision of long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine will convince German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to finally provide Germany's long-range Taurus missiles also, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on April 25.

Scholz has hesitated on the transfer of Taurus missiles, saying before that the issue could be tied to American provision of long-range weapons to Ukraine,

The hopes that the U.S. decision will persuade Scholz to change his mind was shared with DW by an unnamed U.S. defense official.

Given the U.S. decision to supply long-range missiles, as well as similar decisions by London and Paris, we would certainly "hope" that "this may become a factor" to change Germany's position, the official said on April 25.

The final decision on Taurus depends on Germany anyway, the American official said.

The U.S. decision on ATACMS for Ukraine, DW wrote, has sparked debates regarding Taurus in Germany again.

The CDU (Christian Democratic Union) party has been campaigning for the supply of Taurus missiles to Ukraine for several months, said its deputy head responsible for foreign affairs and defense, Johann Wadephul.

"The time to send Taurus has come, because they are comparable to the ATACMS missiles sent from the U.S. - and Ukraine needs them badly," Wadephul told DW.

Wadephul criticized the "stubborn position" of the chancellor when asked about Scholz's refusal to send missiles to Ukraine.

"To stop somebody like Putin, you need strength, you need clarity, and you need the will to win," he said.

Scholz reiterated his opinion on hesitating to transfer Taurus missiles to Ukraine on April 24, saying that he is still reluctant to include them in any military aid provided to Ukraine.

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The issue of supplying Taurus missiles to Ukraine

Ukraine is asking its partners for long-range weapons to be able to strike targets deep inside Ukraine’s Russian-occupied territory.

Some countries have already taken this step: the UK and France have transferred Storm Shadow cruise missiles.

Germany, which has about 600 Taurus cruise missiles, has demurred.

Berlin is not refusing to provide Taurus to Ukraine, but isn’t ready to do so at the moment, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in September 2023.

The reason could be the wavering of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has expressed concerns that Kyiv could use the weapons to attack Russian territory. He is also concerned that the move could lead to an “escalation” of the war.

Ukraine has repeatedly said that it will not use Western long-range missiles to strike Russian territory.

The German parliament twice failed to support a call to transfer Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

Only 178 out of 666 deputies voted in favor of the idea on Jan. 17.

The German parliament voted to supply Ukraine with “long-range weapons” on Feb. 22 but did not specifically mention Taurus missiles.

Long-range Taurus missiles would not tip the war in favor of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the head of the special task force on Ukraine at the German Defense Ministry, Christian Freudig, stated on Feb. 5.

Scholz is not afraid of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, said on March 29 regarding the issue of providing Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

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