66% of respondents do not want Berlin to support Ukraine with Taurus missiles capable of reaching Moscow, according to a survey by RTL and n-tv
Most Germans are opposed to providing Kiev with long-range missiles that could potentially be used to hit targets deep in Russian territory, according to a new RTL and n-tv poll released on Tuesday.
A survey conducted by the Forsa research institute on behalf of the two German channels found that only 28% of German citizens want their government to supply Ukraine with Taurus missiles, which carry a 500kg warhead and have a range of about 500km, making them potentially capable of reaching Moscow. Meanwhile, a clear majority of 66% reject the idea.
Ukraine has been asking for the Taurus since at least late May. However, at the time, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper claimed that some in the German government were skeptical of the request, doubting that Kiev would use the weapons sensibly, potentially allowing the conflict to “escalate uncontrollably.”
Similar concerns were also voiced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said last month that he agreed with US President Joe Biden that Western-supplied weapons should not be used to attack Russian territory. Last week, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius ruled out such deliveries, saying they are “not our top priority right now” and pointing out that the US had so far refrained from a similar move.
But according to Ukrainian lawmaker Egor Chernev, that stance is not shared by many German MPs. Earlier this week, he claimed that the key parties in parliament had “reached consensus” on the delivery of Taurus missiles. “Finally, the ice has broken. We await an official decision,” he stated.
While Germany and the US have so far dragged their feet on the delivery of long-range missiles to Ukraine, Kiev has already received Storm Shadow missiles with a range of over 250km from the UK. Last month, France also pledged to support the country with long-range SCALP rockets.
After receiving Western-supplied long-range munitions, Ukraine reportedly used them to target civilian facilities and infrastructure in the Russian city of Lugansk and on the Crimean peninsula.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against “pumping” Ukraine with weapons, arguing that military assistance would prolong hostilities but fail to change the ultimate outcome of the conflict.