Germany yet to make decision on sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine
Berlin is considering technical modifications to ensure that missiles will not be used to attack Russian territory, according to Der Spiegel
By Anadolu staff
BERLIN (AA) - Germany is considering sending technically modified long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.
The government is holding talks with the defense industry to restrict the programming of Taurus missiles so that they will not be used to attack targets in Russia, according to the weekly.
The government has not yet taken a decision, but the talks are ongoing, the magazine reported.
Taurus cruise missiles have a range of more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) and are well known for their success in hitting hard and deeply buried targets, such as command bunkers.
Despite growing pressure from Ukraine to deliver long-range Taurus missiles, the German government has been reluctant so far, fearing that this could lead to an escalation, and make Germany a party to the conflict with Russia.
A government spokesperson told public broadcaster ARD on Friday there is no new development on the matter for now.
“Germany is concentrating on delivering heavy artillery, armored vehicles and air defense systems to Ukraine,” the spokesperson told public broadcaster ARD, without giving any further details.
On Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged continued military support to Ukraine but also underlined that his government will act “responsibly” to avoid a confrontation between NATO and Russia.
“We always pay attention that the decisions we take would not escalate this into a war between Russia and NATO,” he said, during a citizens' dialogue meeting in the eastern city of Erfurt.
“Ukraine is attacked by Russia, Ukraine is defending itself, and it will be supported by us,” he added.
Germany has significantly increased its military support to Ukraine in recent months following pressure from the US and other allies, and it is currently the second-largest supplier of weapons to the country.
Berlin has supplied weapons and equipment worth billions of dollars, including battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, reconnaissance drones and air defense systems.
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