Sunday May 19, 2024

Majority of Germans oppose sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine

Published : 15 Oct 2023, 20:33

  DF News Desk
A combat-ready "Patriot" anti-aircraft missile system of the German Armed Forces' anti-aircraft missile squadron 1 stands on the airfield of the military airport. File Photo: Axel Heimken/dpa.

Most Germans agree with the stance taken by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz not to send Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, according to a survey, reported dpa.

While 55% of respondents backed his position, just 26% regarded this decision as wrong, according to a survey conducted by the YouGov research institute on behalf of dpa.

Earlier this month, Scholz pointed to the risk of escalation to justify his decision not to provide Taurus cruise missiles with a range of 500 kilometres to the war zone, despite urgent pleas from Ukraine since May 2023. He has also pointed to the danger of hitting Russian territory.

However, the decision was criticized by lawmakers from the opposition Christian Democrats as well as from parties in the governing coalition parties, namely the Greens and FDP.

Overall, though, voters backing all of the parties represented in the Bundestag approved of his decision.

Support was particularly strong among the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) voters (79%), followed by supporters of the Social Democrats (SPD) (59%), the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) (57%), conservative opposition bloc CDU/CSU (53%) and Germany's far-left party Die Linke (49%).

Green voters were divided, with 40% calling the decision right and 34% saying it is wrong.

Germany is the second biggest weapons supplier to Ukraine after the US and Berlin has provided battle tanks, heavy artillery and air defence systems to help Ukraine fight off a full-scale Russian invasion.

Those deliveries have met a divided response among the population, with 39% of those surveyed by YouGov saying the military support goes too far, while 29% think that exactly the right amount of weapons is being supplied.

Meanwhile, 18% say the German government should provide even more weapons.