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WSJ: Scholz freezes decision on Taurus delivery to Ukraine

Technical and political hurdles delay Germany’s supply of long-range missiles to Ukraine.
A Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missile at the ILA air show near Berlin in 2004. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
WSJ: Scholz freezes decision on Taurus delivery to Ukraine

Germany refrains from sending German-made Taurus long-range precision missiles to Ukraine because of the fear that the maintenance of the missiles would require German technicians on the ground in Ukraine, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The probable involvement of German technicians in maintaining Taurus missiles in Ukraine could bring Germany closer to a confrontation with Russia, German officials told the WSJ.

German officials told the WSJ that Germany’s three-party coalition government approved the Taurus delivery in principle, but German Chancellor Olaf Scholz froze the decision. The WSJ reported that Olaf Scholz believed that a parliamentary vote would be needed to move German troops into the war zone in Ukraine to maintain the German-made missile systems.

However, the delivery of Taurus missiles to Ukraine could still be approved if the US sends similar weapons to Ukraine, according to the WSJ.

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Even if the supply of Taurus missiles is approved soon, it could take Ukraine much longer to deploy the weapons, the WSJ reported, referring to German officials. The missiles must be adjusted to Soviet-era aircraft used by Ukraine’s Air Force. The Ukrainian aircraft must be refurbished to be able to carry Taurus missiles.

The Taurus KEPD 350 is a Swedish-German air-launched cruise missile manufactured by Taurus Systems and used by Germany, Spain, and South Korea. Taurus is one of NATO’s most powerful conventional weapons that can hit targets within 500 kilometers. According to the WSJ, Ukraine’s Armed Forces could use these missiles to hit the Crimean Bridge and cut off Russia’s access to occupied Crimea.

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