Ukraine war: Leaked “Taurus” conversation: Chancellor Scholz promises “quick clarification”

After the Russian publication of a recording of discussions between German Air Force officers on the Ukraine war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz promises quick clarification.

Ukraine war: Leaked “Taurus” conversation: Chancellor Scholz promises “quick clarification”

After the Russian publication of a recording of discussions between German Air Force officers on the Ukraine war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz promises quick clarification. On the sidelines of a visit to the Vatican, the SPD politician spoke of a "very serious matter". About possible foreign policy damage, he said: "That is why this is now being investigated very carefully, very intensively and very quickly. That is also necessary."

The head of the Russian state broadcaster RT, Margarita Simonjan, published an audio recording of the approximately 30-minute conversation on Friday, which may have been intercepted. In it, senior Air Force officers can be heard discussing the theoretical possibilities of using German "Taurus" cruise missiles by Ukraine. According to information from the DPA news agency, the conversation is authentic.

The officers connected via the Webex platform and spoke about the following points:

There had just been anger in Great Britain over a statement by Olaf Scholz, which some interpreted as an indiscretion. “What the British and French are doing in terms of targeting and accompanying targeting cannot be done in Germany,” said the Chancellor. He left it open what exactly he meant by that.

However, the sentence was understood by some as an indication that the French and British would support the control of their "Storm Shadow" and "Scalp" cruise missiles, which were delivered to Ukraine, with their own forces. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak immediately denied this: "Ukraine's use of the long-range Storm Shadow missile system and the target selection process are the responsibility of the Ukrainian armed forces."

The CDU defense expert Roderich Kiesewetter told "ZDF Today" with regard to the publication: "One must assume that the conversation was specifically leaked by Russia at this point in time with a specific intention. This can only be to create a "Taurus" To prevent delivery through Germany."

The German Ministry of Defense is investigating whether communications within the Air Force were intercepted. “The Federal Office for the Military Counterintelligence Service has initiated all necessary measures,” said a spokeswoman for the authority, abbreviated as BAMAD. “We cannot say anything about the content of the communication that was apparently intercepted.”

Security politicians demanded consequences. “We urgently need to increase our security and counter-espionage because we are obviously vulnerable in this area,” said the chairwoman of the Bundestag’s defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, to the editorial network Germany (RND). Green politician Konstantin von Notz said: "The question arises as to whether this is a one-off event or a structural security problem." He expects “immediate clarification of all background information,” said the chairman of the Parliamentary Control Committee.

Scholz has repeatedly emphasized that he is against the delivery of "Taurus" cruise missiles to Ukraine. This position is also controversial within his own traffic light coalition. The Chancellor justifies this with the danger that Germany could be drawn into the war of aggression started by Russia.

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