Copyright © 2021 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

German FM says Taurus missile “ring exchange” with UK is “an option,” a move to free up more Storm Shadows for Ukraine

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock supports transferring Taurus missiles to Ukraine and considers a Taurus/Storm Shadow “ring exchange” with the UK to provide more Storm Shadows for Ukraine “an option,” despite Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s opposition to sending Tauruses to Ukraine.
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Baerbock at a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal on February 7, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Credit: Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine via Wikimedia Commons)
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Baerbock at a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal on February 7, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Credit: Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine via Wikimedia Commons)
German FM says Taurus missile “ring exchange” with UK is “an option,” a move to free up more Storm Shadows for Ukraine

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock supports the transfer of the Taurus cruise missile to Ukraine, confirms the discussions about the “ring exchange” of Tauruses with the UK to supply more Storm Shadows to Ukraine, and says such an exchange could be “an option.”

While the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been rejecting sending Tauruses to Ukraine, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron proposed a “ring exchange” to Germany as an alternative to potentially supplying Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine. Under his plan, Berlin could transfer Taurus missiles to the UK, which would in return donate additional Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine.

Cameron says UK ready to send more Storm Shadows to Ukraine if Germany sends Tauruses to UK

Asked if Germany can supply Ukraine with the Taurus missile without becoming a party to the conflict, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told German public broadcaster ARD that such a decision should be supported by the Cabinet.

Baerbock noted that the ring exchange was a German invention, as Germany had earlier supplied its tanks to the countries, which were donating their tanks to Ukraine. At that time, Germany was not yet willing to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine.

“That would be an option,” she noted regarding the Taurus/Storm Shadow exchange with the UK.

Also, the Chancellor’s rejection of the idea, Baerbock made it clear that she supports the direct Taurus supplies to Ukraine.

Ukrainian leaders have been requesting the Taurus for months, as it would significantly enhance Kyiv’s long-range strike capabilities. The missile’s powerful warhead makes it especially effective against large infrastructure targets, such as Russia’s strategic Kerch Strait Bridge that connects occupied Crimea to southwestern Russia.

Ukrinform notes that many members of Germany’s Green Party, including Annalena Baerbock, have supported the idea of sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine from the outset. However, as junior partners in the coalition government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, they were compelled to vote against such proposals in the Bundestag due to Scholz’s firm opposition to the move.

Ring exchange

The concept of the circular missile exchange between Germany and the UK was initially reported in January. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, affiliated with Chancellor Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, stated at that time that he was unaware of any such proposal, according to Newsweek.

Scholz rejects the delivery of Taurus missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to Ukraine because he fears that Germany could ultimately be drawn into the war through their use. The ring swap could allay the concerns of Scholz, since Germany’s Tauruses would end up in Britain, far from Ukraine’s frontlines.

The Swiss Times reports that within Germany’s ruling “traffic light coalition,” comprised of three parties, there appears to be discord regarding the debate on supplying Taurus missiles. This potential division is expected to manifest on 14 March, when the opposition party CDU/CSU plans to introduce a motion in the Bundestag urging the German government to promptly provide the far-reaching weapon system to Ukraine “without delay.” There are indications suggesting that this motion may garner support from the other two members of the coalition, the FDP and the Greens, according to the Swiss Times.

The Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles with a range of over 250 kilometers, a joint British-French project, were first supplied to Kyiv in May 2023. These missiles have been effectively employed in major strikes against high-value Russian targets.

The Taurus missiles have a range of approximately 500 kilometers and share similarities in design and operation with the Storm Shadow/SCALP weapons. However, Chancellor Scholz has been reluctant to follow the lead of the UK and France.

Read more:

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Related Posts