Germany still discussing supplying long-range weapons to Ukraine, foreign minister says

By Thomson Reuters Feb 24, 2024 | 3:30 PM

KYIV (Reuters) – German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa on Saturday, said Germany was still discussing whether to supply long-range weapons to Ukraine.

“Of course, everything (in regards to military support) we are delivering is too little,” she said at a press conference after paying an unannounced visit to the country.

“We’re racking our brains, especially through the past year, about the issue of how to deliver more, including long-range weapons systems,” she said at the event, held jointly with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on the second anniversary of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian leaders have been pushing their Western counterparts to deliver new weapons systems, above all longer-range missiles to strike further behind Russian lines, such as U.S. ATACMS and Germany’s Taurus cruise missiles.

German lawmakers approved further military support for Ukraine on Thursday, including long-range weapon systems, but rejected a call by the opposition to deliver Taurus to Kyiv.

German officials have cited concerns that the missiles could escalate the war inside Russian territory and could be seen as more direct German involvement in the conflict.

Western leaders rallied round Kyiv on Saturday, looking to dispel concerns the West is losing interest in the conflict.

“It is totally understandable that people in Ukraine say we need more of everything,” Baerbock said.

Kuleba said he would not go into detail about weapons and additional air defences that he said had been discussed, but added there were concrete offers available and Germany would work through them bilaterally with Ukraine or in larger settings.

(Reporting by Iryna Nazarchuk of Reuters TV, writing by Vera Eckert in Frankfurt, Editing by Louise Heavens)