Ukraine urges Germany to speed up decision on missile supply

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Monday urged Berlin to supply Ukraine with long-range Taurus missiles during a surprise visit to Kyiv by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

She promised unwavering support and praised Ukraine’s progress towards EU membership, but Kuleba said Germany should speed up a decision on missile deliveries.

“I don’t understand why we’re wasting time,” Kuleba told a press conference with Baerbock.

“And we could have achieved more, and saved more lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians if we already had Taurus,” he added.

Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive against entrenched Russian positions in June but progress has been slow.

Kyiv has been appealing to Western allies for fighter jets and missiles that can hit targets deeper inside Russian-controlled territory.

“We respect your procedures but from everything we know about Taurus there is not a single objective argument against not doing it,” Kuleba said, referring to Berlin’s decision on delivering the weapons.

Germany, a key political and military backer for Ukraine, has handed over Leopard 2 tanks and air defence systems.

On Tauras, Baerbock said: “As with previous deliveries we have made, all these issues must be resolved.”

On her fourth visit since Russia invaded in February 2022, Baerbock said Germany “won’t let up on its support” for Ukraine.

The United Kingdom and France have both supplied Ukraine with their Storm Shadow and SCALP long-range missiles, which Kyiv says are necessary to disrupt Russian supply lines.

Kyiv’s bid for European Union membership has been a key area of discussion among Ukrainian and European diplomats.

Ukraine received EU candidacy status a year ago and is hoping to begin formal negotiations this year on what it needs to do to firm up its membership bid.

Baerbock said it had already made “good progress” in some areas including judicial reforms but still had “some way to go” in tackling corruption.

She renewed Germany’s “resolute support for Ukraine on its way into the European Union.”

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