Taurus cruise missile infographic
Graphic shows details of Taurus air-launched cruise missile.
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MILITARY

German lawmakers to vote on long-range missiles for Ukraine

February 21, 2024 - Lawmakers in Germany’s ruling coalition are set to vote on a motion that could finally push Chancellor Olaf Scholz to deliver long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

A draft resolution prepared by the three groups in the government’s parliamentary majority and seen by the Financial Times requests “the delivery of additionally necessary long-range weapon systems” for Kyiv that could strike “far in the rear area of the Russian aggressor”.

While non-binding, the successful passage of the motion could leave Scholz symbolically isolated. With the mainstream opposition Christian Democratic Union in favour, the chancellor’s resistance to the missiles’ delivery to Kyiv would be seen as being supported only by MPs of the hard left and hard right.

The debate over delivering Taurus, a bunker-busting missile with a range of 500km, has rumbled on for months in Berlin.

While Scholz’s coalition has dramatically increased its deliveries of weaponry to Ukraine, and is now the second-largest supplier after the U.S., it has stubbornly resisted calls for Taurus to be sent, fearful of the potential escalatory effect the powerful missile may have.

Taurus has greater range and sophistication than the British Storm Shadow and French Scalp cruise missiles delivered to Ukraine last year. It would be capable of reaching Moscow and evading most Russian anti-aircraft defences, the FT said.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 21/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News
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