German chancellor slammed for revealing British military role in Ukraine

German chancellor slammed for revealing British military role in Ukraine

Sending long-range German missiles to Ukraine would require deployment of German troops in war zone, Chancellor Scholz says

By Mehmet Solmaz

BIRMINGHAM, England (AA) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been accused of a "flagrant abuse of intelligence" after he revealed that British troops are helping the Ukrainian military launch long-range Storm Shadow missiles on Russian positions.

Tobias Ellwood, a senior Conservative lawmaker and the former head of the UK's Defense Select Committee, said Berlin endangers the lives of British troops in Ukraine, the Telegraph reported on Thursday.

"This is a flagrant abuse of intelligence deliberately designed to distract from Germany's reluctance to arm Ukraine with its own long-range missile system. This will no doubt be used by Russia to racket up the escalator ladder."

Britain is known to be providing intelligence on Russian targets, but it is unclear what level of support it is providing on the ground to Ukrainian troops firing its missiles.

Ellwood's comments came days after Scholz ruled out delivering long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, arguing that this may lead to a direct conflict between Russia and NATO.

"We would like to prevent this war that Russia has started against Ukraine from escalating into a war between Russia and NATO," Scholz said in an interview with German press agency dpa on Monday.

Scholz asserted that delivering the missiles to Ukraine would require sending German soldiers to Ukraine for their use or deployment.

"German soldiers should not be linked in any way with the potential targets of this system, at any point, or at any place," Scholz said.

The German chancellor has also taken flak from opposition parties in the country's parliament, the Bundestag.

"The chancellor's statement regarding France and Britain's alleged involvement in operating long-range cruise missiles used in Ukraine is completely irresponsible," said Norbert Rottgen, a Christian Democrat lawmaker.

Ukraine has repeatedly asked Germany for Taurus cruise missiles and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said last month that Kyiv needed the munitions "not for an attack on Moscow," but "to destroy the Russian military infrastructure along the frontline on Ukrainian territory."

The powerful cruise missiles have a range of more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) and are known for their success against targets like bridges, or hard and deeply buried objects, such as command bunkers.

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