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Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD): “As far as the delivery of a special weapons system is concerned, he is sticking to his position.”


Carsten Koall/dpa

The coalition apparently wants to provide Kiev with more material in the fight against Russia - to this end, the traffic light factions are submitting a motion to the Bundestag calling for the transfer of "long-range weapon systems" to Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to approve the application, but does not understand this as a Taurus delivery. This was “obligatory” because he had not given up his previous position, said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit. Scholz has not yet agreed to a delivery from Taurus.

The delivery of the unspecified "long-range weapon systems" is intended to enable Ukraine to "enable targeted attacks on strategically relevant targets far in the rear area of ​​the Russian aggressor," as the application states. Taurus cruise missiles would meet these requirements, but are not explicitly mentioned.

With this positioning through his spokesman, Scholz is opposing the interpretation of the motion by the Green MP Anton Hofreiter. "I will agree to the traffic light motion to defend Ukraine," he told SPIEGEL. "It's perfectly clear that our formulation is aimed at a weapon system: the Taurus."

Hebestreit, on the other hand, didn't even mention the word "Taurus" at the federal press conference. He said of Scholz's attitude: "As far as the delivery of a special weapon system is concerned, he sticks to his position."

Apparently irritation with Strack-Zimmermann

Hebestreit also indicated that the Chancellor was annoyed by the actions of FDP MP Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, who also wants to approve a motion from the opposition Union that explicitly mentions a Taurus delivery. The party leaders would have to decide whether this is a question of conscience in view of the usual party discipline in a coalition. "In my opinion, no one has decided that this is a question of conscience in that sense," he added.

The Chancellor has his opinion, but he doesn't want to say it, said Hebestreit. Otherwise, every MP would have to take responsibility for their actions. In the traffic light coalition, there is widespread dissatisfaction, especially among the small coalition partners the Greens and FDP, that the Chancellor has so far refused to agree to a Taurus delivery.