Pressure mounts on German Chancellor to supply Ukraine with Taurus long-range missiles

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz is facing increased pressure from the opposition CDU/CSU bloc to supply Ukraine with Taurus long-range missiles, as announced by CDU chairman Friedrich Merz. The conservatives plan to call a parliamentary vote on the issue following a report by the Bundestag's armed forces commissioner Eva Högl, said Merz on Tuesday, January 16.

Looking at the worsening situation in Ukraine, Merz said that "there are no prospects" for the Ukrainian army to repel Russian forces without such weaponry. Taurus missiles could significantly contribute to Ukrainian successes, according to the opposition leader. He also expressed hope that some members of the ruling coalition might back the Taurus deliveries in a roll-call vote, thereby aligning their actions with previous statements on the necessity of providing Ukraine with long-range missiles.

On the same day, Omid Nouripur, Co-chair of the Alliance 90/The Greens party part of the governing coalition, called on the government to decide swiftly on the Taurus missile supplies. The German government reviews support for Ukraine on an almost daily basis and Taurus discussions are ongoing, Nouripur told Welt channel, emphasising that "the time has come" for Germany to respond affirmatively to Ukraine's request, as "they deserve it".

Despite months of debate on providing Ukraine with Taurus missiles, Chancellor Scholz remains resistant. Media speculate his hesitancy stems from the missile's ability to reach deep inside Russian territory. As reported by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany would need to supply geographical data and maintenance personnel, which poses a significant issue. The possibility of Germany being viewed as a belligerent could be a valid reason to deny the supply of certain arms, the publication suggests.

Chancellor Scholz's position is sharply criticized by his colleagues in the ruling coalition, the Alliance 90/The Greens and the Free Democratic Party, as well as by former German President Joachim Gauck, who supports Taurus deliveries. Taurus missiles, with their 500-kilometer range and precision strike capabilities against bunkers and bridges, are among the most advanced in the Bundeswehr's arsenal.

Nevertheless, the German government's spokesperson stated on January 3 that Berlin's stance remains unchanged.

  War in Ukraine, Germany, Taurus