Germany Faces Mounting Calls to Deploy Taurus Missiles in Support of Ukraine

Germany Faces Mounting Calls to Deploy Taurus Missiles in Support of Ukraine

Increasing pressure is being exerted on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to approve the deployment of long-range Taurus missiles, a move that would significantly enhance Kyiv’s military capabilities by allowing strikes on critical Russian assets located far beyond the front lines.

Former German President Joachim Gauck emphasized the need for Chancellor Scholz to consider whether he is aligning with his stated commitment to prevent Russia from achieving a victorious peace. Gauck questioned the hesitation in delivering weapons, including the requested Taurus missiles.

Calls for providing Taurus missiles have been growing within Scholz’s own party for months. While Germany has previously supplied military assistance to Ukraine, including Leopard main battle tanks and air-defense systems, it has refrained from fulfilling Ukraine’s request for air-launched Taurus cruise missiles since May 2023.

Markus Söder, the Prime Minister of Bavaria and chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU) party, emphasized that Taurus missiles would enhance Ukraine’s defense against constant drone and missile attacks. Members of the Green Party in Germany also voiced their support, with parliamentary spokesperson Sara Nanni stating that the delivery of Taurus missiles to Ukraine is long overdue.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, Chair of the Bundestag’s Defense Committee, called for the immediate delivery of Taurus missiles to Kyiv, asserting that Chancellor Scholz alone is obstructing this decision within the ruling coalition.

The Taurus missiles, with a range exceeding 300 miles, are comparable to the Storm Shadow provided by the UK and the French SCALP missiles. Experts suggest that the Taurus, with its slightly improved warhead design, would be more effective in targeting crucial structures such as bridges, including the strategic Kerch Bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland.

While the Storm Shadows are similar in design to the Taurus, the latter’s enhanced capabilities could provide Ukraine with an advantage in challenging Russian control in Crimea. Deploying Taurus missiles would enhance Ukraine’s long-range strike capabilities, enabling strikes deep into Russian-held territory from positions farther away from Russian air defenses.

This strategic move is seen as crucial for Ukraine, especially after its summer counteroffensive failed to significantly alter the largely static front lines in the eastern and southern regions of the country. Despite calls for action, the German Defense Ministry has not provided updates on whether Berlin will authorize the shipment of Taurus missiles to Ukraine.