Germany has vowed to never get sucked into the Ukraine conflict to the point of placing troops in the country, according to fresh remarks of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
He addressed an event organized by the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper on Friday, and the press asked him about the dangers of escalation in Ukraine, given Germany is supplying Kiev with weapons, including Leopard 2 battle tanks, which itself was a deeply controversial move representing an about-face at the time the decision was made.
Currently German officials are debating whether or not to supply Ukraine with long-range Taurus missiles, which Moscow would surely view as another major escalation.
When Scholz was asked by a reporter whether there’s a danger of Germany becoming “actively involved in the war,” he responded by asserting that it is his “aim to prevent this”.
He then said there are currently “no German soldiers in Ukraine and there won’t be any,” according to his words sited in Russian English-language media — which was quick to seize upon his remarks.
He additionally explained that the West is not seeking a “war between Russia and NATO” and wants to avoid such a scenario.
As for the Taurus missile, Kiev officials are desperately seeking the weapon, as it would mark the longest distance missile in their arsenal, as Forbes details of its capabilities:
The German Taurus missile, which can travel around 210 miles—nearly a third farther than a Storm Shadow or SCALP can travel—would make the bombers even safer, by allowing them to stand off farther from Russian defenses. Perhaps, in certain scenarios, even beyond the reach of the 240-mile-range S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
Germany has informed Ukraine it is hoping to come to a quick decision, but in this case the German public appears ready to push back, also given the bad state of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
A new poll published Friday shows that the majority of Germans are against sending Taurus missiles, given the obvious risk of escalation with Russia.
The lowest level of approval is among voters of the far-right Alternative for Germanyhttps://t.co/1XkNcjzDBw
— European Pravda (@EuropeanPravda) August 18, 2023
German public broadcaster ARD found 52% of the Germany public opposes it, given the range is enough to open up the likelihood of Taurus missiles being used to launch attacks inside Russian territory.