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Ukraine asks Germany to provide Taurus long-range missiles - Berlin

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Zelenskiy is awarded Germany's prestigious Charlemagne Prize, in Aachen

BERLIN (Reuters) - Ukraine has asked Germany to supply it with Taurus cruise missiles, an air-launched weapon with a range of some 500 km (310 miles), a spokesperson for the defence ministry in Berlin said on Saturday.

Germany received the request several days ago, the spokesperson said, confirming a report by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. She declined to provide further details or say how likely it was that Germany would supply the missiles to Ukraine.

If it supplies the missiles, Germany would be following in the footsteps of Britain, which earlier in May became the first country to publicly provide Kyiv with long-range cruise missiles.

The United States has so far declined to supply Ukraine with the 297-km range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles amid concerns that Ukraine could use them to strike inside Russia's internationally recognised borders.

Ukraine has been asking for months for this kind of weapons, but support from Western allies has focused on shorter-range weapons.

Taurus is built by European missile maker MBDA and has similar features to the British Storm Shadow.

It can be used to hit high-value targets, troops or fuel dumps deep behind the front lines and has the capability to destroy hardened targets such as bunkers buried deep underground.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Conor Humphries)