The Taurus Missile Dilemma: Why Germany Hesitates to Arm Ukraine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ruled out delivery of the long range missile Taurus to Ukraine “for now,” Politico reported yesterday. When reporters asked him why he refuses to send the cruise missiles to Ukraine, the Chancellor told them that the decision will be taken after “careful consideration.
“After all, when a war lasts so long, these considerations can’t stop at once,” Scholz said during a press conference on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit in Granada, Spain, adding that his government “must always take into account what the constitution requires of us and what our options for action are.”
“This includes in particular the fact that we must of course ensure that there is no escalation of the war and that Germany does not become part of the conflict. It is also my task as chancellor to ensure that.”
Well, it’s evident that the Chancellor is avoiding the question. The reporter sought to understand why he’s withholding the missiles, but his response touched on everything else except that.
Ukraine has persistently requested long-range missiles from its allies for an extended period. While the United Kingdom and France have already supplied Ukraine with Storm Shadow and SCALP missiles, Germany remains steadfast in its refusal to provide cruise missiles to Ukraine.
What could be the reason?
Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not “elaborate on what potential constitutional constraints he had in mind, but Bild reported that the chancellor was concerned that for Ukraine to use the Taurus missiles, Berlin would have to deliver geo-data of Russian targets and thereby take a more active role in the war. Scholz is also reportedly worried that Ukraine might use the missiles to hit the Kerch bridge connecting occupied Crimea with Russia”.
Germany has made an announcement regarding the provision of an additional Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, which carries a value exceeding one billion dollars. Therefore, it’s clear that financial considerations aren’t the reason why the Chancellor is withholding the Taurus missiles.