German lawmakers reject motion to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine

Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), Defence Industry Europe

A motion put forward in parliament by Germany's conservative opposition that called for the government to send long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine was rejected by a large majority of lawmakers on Wednesday evening.

 

Nearly all lawmakers from the three-party governing coalition – Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the business friendly Free Democrats (FDP) – were opposed to the motion.

The outcome in parliament may seem a bit baffling, especially as the Greens and the FDP have been pushing Scholz for months to send the missiles, which Kiev could use to strike deeper into Russian-occupied territory.

 

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Lawmakers from the Greens and FDP justified their vote with the fact that the motion by the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian CSU allies was linked to a plenary debate on the annual report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces.

FDP defence expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann wrote critically in a written statement obtained by dpa: “It is downright indecent to mix a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, which is being discussed today and relates exclusively to the concerns of Bundeswehr soldiers, with the debate on future support for Ukraine.”

 

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The Taurus is one of the military’s most modern missiles and can destroy targets such as a bunker complex even from a great height and distance.

However, Scholz decided at the beginning of October not to supply this weapon to Ukraine for the time being. The reason given was the fear that Russian territory could also be hit due to the range of 500 kilometres.

Strack-Zimmermann reiterated her demand for Taurus deliveries despite rejecting motion, saying the weapons would make an “fundamental contribution to … fully restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

 

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