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Scholz’s Taurus missile refusal tied to fear of Putin’s nuclear threats, says Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy states that Chancellor Scholz’s refusal to provide Taurus missiles is due to fear of Putin’s nuclear threats, underscoring the importance of Western weapons for Ukraine’s survival and potential victory against Russia’s invasion.
Zelenskyy inspecting the construction of defenses.. Photo: president.gov.ua
Scholz’s Taurus missile refusal tied to fear of Putin’s nuclear threats, says Zelenskyy

In an interview with BILD published on 9 April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticizes German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s refusal to supply Taurus missiles due to fears of Putin’s nuclear threats, hindering Ukraine’s ability to potentially achieve victory against the Russian invasion with the support of advanced Western weaponry.

Since May 2023, Ukraine has been actively urging Germany to supply Taurus missiles to enhance their capability to disrupt Russian logistics, yet Berlin hesitates, contrasting with the UK and France’s decision to provide Ukraine with Storm Shadow/SCALP missiles and the US decision to send its ATACMS. The German government’s reluctance allegedly stems from fears of escalating the war by giving Ukraine the means to strike targets within Russia.

Our partners have certain weapons that we need today in order to survive. Ukraine needs them to survive, and I simply don’t understand why we don’t get these weapons,” Zelenskyy told BILD, directly referring to the Taurus system.

The Ukrainian president made it clear that the Taurus missiles, as well as American ATACMS short-range missiles and F-16 fighter jets, are crucial for Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against the ongoing Russian invasion.

Germany probes Russia’s leak of military call discussing Taurus missiles for Ukraine

Zelenskyy revealed that Chancellor Scholz had justified the refusal to supply the Taurus missiles by citing Germany’s status as a non-nuclear power.

“As far as I understand it, the Chancellor says that Germany is not a nuclear power and that it is the strongest weapon system in Germany,” Zelenskyy explained. “And Scholz could not leave his country without this weapons system.”

However, the Ukrainian leader suggested that Scholz’s decision may be rooted in a deeper fear – the fear of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats.

Scholz says that it does,” Zelenskyy replied when asked if the non-delivery of the Taurus missiles is connected to Putin’s nuclear rhetoric, “But I don’t think that will protect the world from the nuclear threat from Russia.”

Zelenskyy’s remarks challenge the official narrative given by Chancellor Scholz, who has previously justified the Taurus refusal by stating that he does not want to make Germany a party to the war in case Ukraine uses the Taurus missiles to attack targets inside Russia.

Scholz rejects Taurus missile deployment due to escalation fears

Freezing the war would be only a pause for Putin

Zelenskyy also expressed his frustration with the idea of freezing “conflict” in Ukraine, a notion championed by some, including the leader of Scolz’s SPD parliamentary group, Rolf Mützenich. The Ukrainian president warned that such a proposal would only benefit Russian President Putin, allowing him to regroup and prepare for a new offensive:

“It’s like a pause when you watch a movie. But it’s not a movie, it’s reality. It is a pause. But this pause is for Putin,” Zelenskyy said.

Germany suspends production of Taurus missiles

He argued that Putin would use such a pause to increase production and stockpiles of military technology, missiles, and drones, while analyzing the mistakes made at the beginning of the invasion.

“Putin only understands power,” Zelenskyy remarked. “He feels like an animal: if you can’t defend yourself, he will destroy even more,” because “his wish is to take over the whole of Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian president warned that a defeat against Russia now seems possible without the necessary modern weapons from the West.

Ukraine can still defeat Russia

Zelenskyy made it clear that Ukraine can beat Russia using modern weapons systems from its international partners, including the Taurus missiles from Germany.

Yes, Russia has more people, more weapons. But the united West has the modern weapons systems. That is why we will receive certain technologies,” he said. “And if we continue to increase production, if we get licenses from our partners, then it’s not about the number of people. It’s about the quality of the weapons.”

Currently, Ukrainians’ main hope lies not in a single German weapons system, but in the multi-billion dollar American aid package stalled by Republicans in Congress for months.

Yes, we have a plan for a counter-offensive,” the Ukrainian President noted, adding that this also requires weapons, including from the USA.

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