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German FM Open to UK's Taurus Swap Proposal as 'Option'

© AP PhotoA Taurus missile flies during a drill off South Korea's western coast on Sept. 13, 2017.
A Taurus missile flies during a drill off South Korea's western coast on Sept. 13, 2017.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.03.2024
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly opposed the idea of supplying Ukraine with missiles capable of striking deep into Russian territory. However, recently UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron expressed London’s readiness to assist Berlin in overcoming any obstacles preventing the delivery of Taurus long-range missiles to the Kiev regime.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is open to her British colleague David Cameron's suggestion of a swap of long-range cruise missiles for their further transfer to Ukraine, Der Spiegel reported.
In particular, Germany could supply Taurus cruise missiles to the United Kingdom, and in return the British side would transfer Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine. Thus, Berlin would formally be relieved of responsibility for providing cruise missiles to the Kiev regime, the outlet stated.
That would be an option,” Baerbock was quoted as saying regarding the proposed exchange on ARD's program Caren Miosga.
The German minister on Sunday pointed out that exchanges of a similar nature had already taken place with respect to other material. This, according to the outlet, was a nod at Chancellor Olaf Scholz's previous use of indirect military aid to Ukraine, when he was reluctant to send Leopard 2 main battle tanks to the conflict zone. In January, 2023, Berlin announced it would send its Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks to Ukraine, also agreeing to provide re-export licenses for other countries wanting to supply these German-made armored vehicles. Within weeks of their arrival on the battlefield, Russian forces began hunting the tanks down with missiles and kamikaze drones.
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron recently came up with a potential way to persuade Germany to supply Ukraine with Taurus missiles. During a recent interview with German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, he stated that London was ready to help Berlin solve problems preventing the delivery of the cruise missiles to Kiev, or consider the option of buying German missiles and then transferring British Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine. Cameron did not discount the possibility of imposing certain restrictions before supplying the weaponry to Kiev.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly dismissed the idea of providing Ukraine with missiles capable of striking deep into Russian territory, as such support would come dangerously close to direct German participation in the conflict.
If the swap scheme of Britain procuring Taurus missiles from Germany in exchange for supplying Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine comes to pass, Kiev would likely get the long-range missiles eventually, pundits told Sputnik.
A Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missile. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.03.2024
Not Sending Taurus Missiles to Ukraine or Handicapping Them Only Way to Avoid Escalation
The issue of Taurus transfers made the headlines in the wake of a leaked conversation between German military officials discussing a potential attack on the Crimea Bridge.

On March 1, Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT and Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik's parent media group, published the text of a conversation involving four Bundeswehr representatives discussing a potential attack on the Crimean Bridge with Taurus missiles. The talk, which took place on February 19, involved Inspector of the German Air Force Ingo Gerhartz, Brig. Gen. Frank Graefe, head of the Operations and Exercises Department at the Air Force Command in Berlin, and two employees of the air operations center of the Bundeswehr Space Command.

After the intercepted war talk, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz once again ruled out supplying the missiles to Ukraine since it could require the presence of German troops on the ground to help deploy them. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that long-range Taurus missiles would not be decisive for the conflict in Ukraine and would only help in certain areas, but that Germany does not intend to cross this line.
"We have always emphasized that such long-range missiles will not solve this [crisis]," Pistorius said at a joint press conference with Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen.
The Kremlin reiterated that the contents of leaked conversations between German officials proved "the direct involvement of the collective West in the conflict in Ukraine."
Крылатая ракета Taurus, Южная Корея, архивное фото - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.03.2024
Taurus Missiles to Not Be Decisive for Ukraine Crisis, Germany to Not Cross Line - Official
In the wake of Ukraine’s bungled counteroffensive, the Zelensky regime has been pressing Germany for the delivery of the missiles, which have a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles) and could strike deep inside Russian territory.
Moscow has repeatedly underscored that Western arms shipments to Kiev and the training of Ukrainian servicemen only prolong the conflict and will be unable to alter the situation at the battlefield.
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