May 19, 2024

Germany’s conservative opposition is threatening to launch a parliamentary inquiry into Chancellor Olaf Scholz‘s refusal to send Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine.

Scholz contends that delivering the long-range missiles to Ukraine would risk drawing Germany directly into the conflict with Russia. According to the chancellor, German soldiers would be required to programme target information into the missiles.

The centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is demanding to know how Scholz reached that conclusion, after an intercepted conference call between top German air force officers leaked by Russian intelligence appeared to contradict the chancellor’s claims.

Alexander Dobrindt, a senior opposition lawmaker, said the inquiry would look into how Scholz made public statements about the missiles that aren’t backed up by Germany’s military or the manufacturer.

The CDU/CSU opposition has previously suggested a separate inquiry into the security lapses that allowed Russian spies to intercept the phone call, during which senior military commanders discussed the possible use of Taurus missiles by Ukraine.

In the conversation, German military officers said that Taurus missiles could also be launched by Ukraine without German involvement, at least under certain conditions.

Kiev has repeatedly requested Taurus missiles from Germany, saying the weapons would be invaluable for striking vital military targets well behind the front lines. The air-launched missiles have a stated range of about 500 kilometres.

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