May 23, 2024

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is open to the British foreign secretary’s proposal for the countries to swap cruise missiles so that Ukraine can be provided with more sophisticated long-range weapons.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s suggestion is “an option” worth considering, Baerbock said in an interview on German broadcaster ARD on Sunday evening.

In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, Cameron had expressed his intention to “work as closely as possible with our German partners to help Ukraine.”

Under Cameron’s proposal, Berlin could supply Taurus missiles to Britain, and in turn, the British government would provide Ukraine with additional long-range Storm Shadow missiles from UK stocks.

Berlin is reluctant to provide Kiev with its advanced Taurus missiles, which are less visible to detection and capable of hitting targets 500 kilometres away.

Despite pleas from Kiev, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been blocking the delivery of the missiles out of concern they could be used to strike targets within Russia itself and further escalate the conflict.

Germany used this indirect method – what Berlin calls “ring swaps” – earlier in the war with regard to arming Ukraine with more tanks. Berlin then later decided to directly send battle tanks to Ukraine.

Scholz is under pressure within his coalition to reverse his stance on the Taurus. Baerbock has said for months she supported sending the missiles to Kiev.

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