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German lawmakers reject motion to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine

German lawmakers reject motion to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine

German lawmakers have rejected a proposal by the opposition to send Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine. However, they approved additional military assistance for Ukraine on Thursday, which includes long-range weapon systems, nearly two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Germany stands as the second-largest provider of military aid to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has resisted both domestic and international pressure to send the Taurus missiles, fearing an escalation of the conflict on the global stage.

Defence Minister Boris Pistorius emphasized to the Bundestag lower house that “Putin’s Russia is and will remain the greatest security threat to Europe for the foreseeable future.” He pledged that Germany would confront this threat “with all our strength.”

Read more: EU and member states budget €21 billion of aid for Ukraine in 2024

A majority of lawmakers supported a proposal presented by the coalition led by Social Democrat Scholz, which includes the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP). This proposal commits to providing “additional long-range weapon systems and ammunition” without explicitly mentioning Taurus missiles.

The ambiguity in the wording of the proposal, which some lawmakers argue implies the inclusion of Taurus missiles, has sparked debate.

To increase pressure on Scholz, the conservative opposition introduced a proposal explicitly demanding the delivery of cruise missiles. These missiles could potentially empower Ukraine to inflict significant damage in Russian-occupied territories.

The discord within Scholz’s coalition was evident, with the head of the parliamentary defense committee from the FDP, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, voting in favor of the opposition’s proposal, asserting that its intent was clear and unequivocal.

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