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UK offers cruise-missile swap to Germany to aid Ukraine -Handelsblatt

FILE PHOTO: A STORM SHADOW MISSILE IS PREPARED FOR LOADING ON TO AN RAF TORNADO GR4AIRCRAFT IN THE GULF.

BERLIN (Reuters) -Britain has offered Germany a swap of cruise missiles that could allow the German government a way to overcome concerns over a suggested delivery of missiles to Ukraine, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday.

Kyiv has been pushing Berlin to supply its Taurus missiles, which could give Ukraine the ability to cause significant damage deeper within Russian-occupied territory, but the German government has remained hesitant out of concern that could trigger an international escalation of the conflict.

The paper cited government and diplomatic sources as saying that the British government had suggested to Berlin several weeks ago that it could export Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine and, in turn, receive the German Taurus missiles.

The office of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been analysing this proposal, the report added.

A person familiar with the negotiations said that the proposed swap could potentially find support in Berlin.

The German government declined to comment on the report.

When asked to comment, a spokesperson for the British Ministry of Defence said that the UK and its partners including Germany continue to work together to equip Ukraine as best as possible so that it can defend its territory.

The German government has repeatedly said it will only act in concert with Washington on arms deliveries to Ukraine.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt, additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan in London; Editing by Sandra Maler)