War in Ukraine: Baerbock calls Taurus ring exchange an “option”

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is open to her British colleague David Cameron's proposal to provide Ukraine with new cruise missiles through a ring exchange.

War in Ukraine: Baerbock calls Taurus ring exchange an “option”

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is open to her British colleague David Cameron's proposal to provide Ukraine with new cruise missiles through a ring exchange. “That would be an option,” said the Green politician on the ARD program “Caren Miosga”. At the same time, she made it clear that she would also support Taurus deliveries to Ukraine.

Baerbock emphasized that she had already said very clearly in the summer that Ukraine needed extensive weapons systems with a view to the mine belt in the east of the country - and when asked, added: "in brackets: also Taurus." This also included, for example, rocket launchers and self-propelled howitzers that Germany had already delivered.

In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Cameron declared his willingness to "work closely with our German partners to help Ukraine." Cameron also believes that a ring exchange is possible, which could allay the concerns of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).

Special session on the Russian wiretapping

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) stood in front of leading Air Force officers after a special meeting of the Defense Committee on the Russian eavesdropping attack on the Bundeswehr. At the same time, when asked, he confirmed that Air Force Inspector Ingo Gerhartz himself was the second of a total of four participants who was connected via an insecure line. Investigations would have to be awaited before possible legal consequences. “I am not willing, I want to make this clear again, to fall for Putin here and to expose my best officers, whether they made a mistake here or not,” said Pistorius. And: “That would be exactly what Vladimir Putin expects from us.”

A Russian intelligence service had intercepted a conference call between four high-ranking Air Force officers. They had discussed operational scenarios for the German cruise missile if the Taurus were to be delivered to Ukraine. The defense policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Florian Hahn, said after the meeting that there were still unanswered questions. It is also necessary to speak to Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Taurus debate and to speak to the air force inspector about the wiretapping affair.

NATO: Help for Ukrainian self-defense justified

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg refers to Ukraine's right to self-defense in the debate. “We have to remember what is happening here: This is a war of aggression by Russia against Ukraine, and Ukraine has the right to self-defense enshrined in the United Nations Charter,” Stoltenberg said on the sidelines of a ceremony to accept Sweden into NATO. This means that NATO states have the right to help Ukraine protect its right to self-defense.

Stoltenberg also called for continued military support for Ukraine. This is the only way to make it clear to Russian President Putin that he will not achieve his goals on the battlefield, Stoltenberg told Deutschlandfunk. When asked about Pope Francis' recent comments about a white flag, the NATO Secretary General said giving up does not mean peace for Ukraine, but Russian occupation. The aim of negotiations must be a solution that preserves Ukraine as a sovereign, independent country. Putin should not win the war for fundamental reasons. The message should not be that it is worth breaking international law and conquering other countries.

He welcomes the fact that several allies are already supplying Ukraine with long-range weapons systems. He cited the provision of Storm Shadow and Scalp cruise missiles by Great Britain and France as examples.

At the same time, Stoltenberg praised the Federal Republic's contribution to date in supporting Ukraine and referred, for example, to the delivery of air defense systems and battle tanks. Germany is a leading nation when it comes to military support, said the Norwegian.

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