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German opposition leader calls for providing Ukraine with Taurus missiles to destroy Crimean bridge

15 January, 2024 Monday
20:20

Germany should provide Ukraine with long-range Taurus cruise missiles that can destroy the Crimean bridge, an important logistical route for the Russian forces

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This was stated by the chairman of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany, Friedrich Merz, Tagesschau reports.

The politician stressed that the Crimean bridge is "the most important supply route for the invading Russian forces".

According to him, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz still has to answer to the German people why he is not supplying Ukraine with these weapons.

"Is it still a tactic? Or is it ignorance? He has to answer all of us, including me, this question," Merz said.

He made a similar statement on 10 January.

Taurus missiles for Ukraine: what is known

In May, it was reported that Ukraine had asked Germany for long-range missiles.

At the end of June, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that Germany did not intend to provide Ukraine with these missiles.

In early August, it was reported that the Bundestag had reached a consensus on the transfer of Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

At the same time, the German newspaper Spiegel reported that Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to make technical modifications to the missiles to prevent Kyiv from striking Russian territory

Ukraine's Ambassador to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, spoke out against limiting the range of long-range Taurus missiles.

On August 21, the German government’s spokesman reported that providing Ukraine with Taurus missiles is not on the agenda.

On September 4, the head of the Bundestag Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for being the only one in the coalition to block the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

For reference: The Taurus KEPD 350/150 is a subsonic, long-range, air-to-surface tactical cruise missile for precision strikes and engagement of highly protected and buried targets without the missile carrier entering enemy air defence zones. The basic KEPD-350 model has a tandem concrete-piercing warhead weighing 481 kg and an explosive weight of about 50 kg. The weight of the vehicle is 1360 kg, while the empty weight is 1080 kg. The maximum flight range is at least 500 km. 

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