A recent poll conducted by ARD-DeutschlandTrend reveals that a majority of Germans are against the idea of providing Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles, specifically the Swedish-German Taurus KEPD 350. These missiles, with a range of 500km and a 500kg warhead, have the potential to strike deep into Russian territory if supplied to Ukraine.
According to the survey, 52% of respondents firmly opposed delivering the Taurus missiles, while only 36% supported the idea, and 12% had no opinion on the matter. This suggests that the German population as a whole is divided on the issue, both geographically and politically. Eastern Germany showed the highest level of opposition, with 70% firmly against the missile deliveries, while western Germany had 47% opposing the idea.
Political party allegiance also played a role in the respondents’ views. Supporters of the Green Party had the highest level of support for delivering the Taurus missiles, with 68% in favor, followed by 56% of Free Democratic Party voters. On the other hand, 76% of those aligned with the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party rejected the idea.
Interestingly, this poll showed a significantly lower level of opposition to delivering Taurus missiles compared to a survey conducted earlier in the month by the Forsa research institute. In that survey, a clear majority of 66% rejected the idea of sending long-range munitions to Ukraine.
Despite the divided opinions among the German population, top German officials have so far been reluctant to provide Ukraine with the Taurus missiles. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz voiced his agreement with US President Joe Biden’s stance that Western-supplied weapons should not be used to attack Russian territory. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius also emphasized that supplying such “special range” weaponry was not the country’s top priority at the moment, pointing out that even Washington was hesitant in providing longer-range munitions to Ukraine.
However, unlike Germany and the US, the UK has already supplied Ukraine with Storm Shadow cruise missiles, with a range of over 250km. Last month, France pledged to provide Ukraine with long-range SCALP missiles, similar to the Storm Shadow, from their domestic stockpiles. These actions highlight the differing approaches among leading supporter countries towards Ukraine.
In conclusion, the survey conducted by ARD-DeutschlandTrend indicates that a majority of Germans do not support providing Ukraine with the Taurus KEPD 350 missiles. However, the level of opposition has decreased compared to a previous survey, suggesting that public opinion on the matter is not static. The stance of the German government remains nuanced, with concerns over the use of Western-supplied weapons and prioritization of other issues.