German FM Baerbock hopes to sway Scholz on Taurus — report

Annalena Baerbock
Annalena Baerbock

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is working to persuade Chancellor Olaf Scholz to greenlight shipments of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, Spiegel reported on March 15.

The report says that Baerbock has refrained from public statements on the Taurus issue for several months, which Scholz might interpret as "unacceptable pressure."

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Another German outlet, FAZ, reports that Baerbock is nevertheless developing a concept for how Germany might send Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine without crossing Scholz's "red line." One option under consideration is for Germany to give their missiles to the UK. London would then send them to Kyiv, while maintaining control over which targets Ukraine will be allowed to strike.

So far, Baerbock has not succeeded in persuading Scholz.

The publication suggests that for the German minister, this issue is about much more than just one weapons system. Ukraine is increasingly on the defensive. Sources close to the minister believe that in this situation, it would be important for the chancellor to communicate to the Germans what Ukraine’s defeat would mean for European security.

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Despite using French- and UK-supplied cruise missiles for several months, Ukraine remains unable to receive more capable German Taurus missiles to use against Russian military targets deep behind the frontlines.

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