German Bundestag rejects providing Taurus missiles to Ukraine

(Xinhua) 09:06, March 15, 2024

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a question time at the Bundestag in Berlin, capital of Germany, March 13, 2024. (Xinhua/Ren Pengfei)

Scholz reiterated his support for Ukraine regarding military equipment but refused to provide Taurus missiles.

BERLIN, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, on Thursday once again vetoed a motion of sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

The question has been a key issue in the political debate in recent months. The motion came from the conservative opposition CDU/CSU parliamentary group. Meanwhile, parts of the governing parties -- Social Democratic Party, Greens, and Free Democratic Party -- also support the idea of providing long-range missiles.

However, Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday underlined his refusal to supply far-reaching weapon systems to Ukraine. He said the system can only be used if they were linked to the deployment of German soldiers. "That is a line I do not want to cross as Chancellor," he told the Bundestag.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (1st R, front) speaks during a question time at the Bundestag in Berlin, capital of Germany, March 13, 2024. (Xinhua/Ren Pengfei)

The majority of Germans support Scholz on the issue. According to a survey published by public broadcaster ARD last week, 61 percent are against the delivery of Taurus to Ukraine, 9 percentage points up from August last year.

Nevertheless, Scholz reiterated his support for Ukraine in terms of military equipment. Also on Thursday, he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky via phone that Germany would continue to support Ukraine in the military sector in close coordination with European and international partners, a German government spokesman said.

Considered one of Germany's most modern weapon systems, the Taurus missile is an air-launched missile with an operational range of about 500 km. It travels at almost the speed of sound and flies at an altitude of only 35 meters, which makes it hard for radar systems to detect it, local media reported.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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