A recent survey conducted by RTL and n-tv has revealed that a majority of Germans are against their government providing Ukraine with long-range missiles that could potentially be used to target Russian territory. The poll, conducted by the Forsa research institute, found that only 28% of German citizens support the supply of Taurus missiles to Ukraine, while 66% reject the idea.
The request for Taurus missiles from Ukraine has been ongoing since late May. However, there have been doubts within the German government about the potential consequences of supplying these weapons. Some officials are concerned that Ukraine may not use the missiles sensibly, leading to an uncontrollable escalation of the conflict. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently echoed these concerns, stating that he agrees with US President Joe Biden that Western-supplied weapons should not be used to attack Russian territory.
Last week, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stated that supplying Taurus missiles to Ukraine is not currently a top priority for Germany. He also pointed out that the US has refrained from making a similar move. These statements reflect the cautious approach taken by Germany and the US towards providing weapons to Ukraine.
Despite this skepticism from German officials, Ukrainian lawmaker Egor Chernev has claimed that there is consensus among German MPs on the delivery of Taurus missiles. He stated that they are now awaiting an official decision on the matter.
While Germany and the US have been hesitant to supply long-range missiles to Ukraine, the UK has already provided Storm Shadow missiles with a range of over 250km. France has also pledged to support Ukraine with long-range SCALP rockets. However, there have been reports that Ukraine has already used Western-supplied long-range munitions to target civilian facilities and infrastructure in the Russian city of Lugansk and on the Crimean peninsula.
Russia has repeatedly warned against supplying weapons to Ukraine, arguing that it will only prolong the conflict without changing the ultimate outcome. Moscow believes that military assistance will not alter the balance of power and will only escalate tensions in the region.
As the debate over supplying weapons to Ukraine continues, it is clear that there are differing opinions among German citizens and officials. While some support providing Taurus missiles, a majority oppose the idea, citing concerns about the potential consequences. Ultimately, the decision on whether to supply Ukraine with these long-range missiles will have significant implications for the ongoing conflict in the region.