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Bundestag Majority Solidly Rejects Taurus Missiles for Ukraine

The Bundestag. CC/Nick Peretti

March 15, 2024 (EIRNS)—The CDU/CSU parliamentary group has failed with its motion to supply the Taurus cruise missile to Ukraine. In a roll-call vote yesterday, 494 Bundestag deputies voted against the CDU/CSU motion, 188 deputies voted in favor, and there were 5 abstentions. The rejection was based on a recommendation by the Committee on Foreign Affairs. While several members of the government coalition parties, including the chairwoman of the Defense Committee Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), voted for the motion, not all members of the CDU/CSU voted for it.

Among other things, the CDU/CSU had criticized what it saw as the Federal government’s overly hesitant stance and “series of excuses.… If the German government is really pursuing the goal that Ukraine must win this war, then it should not withhold such an effective system, but deliver it.” It is in Ukraine’s own security interests to give it the weapons it needs to militarily push back what is called the “aggressor” Russia.

A motion by the AfD parliamentary group, entitled “Blocking Germany’s path to becoming a war party in the Ukraine conflict—against the training of Ukrainian soldiers on German soil based on the decision of the Political and Security Committee of the European Union,” scheduled for discussion, was, however, removed from the Bundestag agenda.

SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich criticized narrowing the debate to a single weapon system, adding that Germany was the biggest supporter of Ukraine after the U.S.A., not only with weapons, but also in humanitarian terms, in reconstruction and in helping refugees in Germany. Mützenich defended Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) opposition to a delivery of the Taurus both against the CDU/CSU applicants, and also against critics within his coalition. “Turning times are not for political gamblers. What is needed is reason, prudence and clarity. And that is what the Federal Chancellor is doing in his role as head of government.”

Mützenich stirred up the pro-Taurus cabal both by attacking Strack-Zimmermann for siding with the CDU/CSU, and by attacking her FDP group for putting her on the list of speakers. Then, he further criticized that it was considered a “stain” to ask whether “it is not time that we not only talk about how to wage war, but also think about how to freeze a war and end it later.”

Speakers of three opposition groups harshly criticized the motion: Tino Chrupalla (AfD) said that a Taurus delivery to Ukraine would mean prolonging the war and would also harm Germany, which must be prevented from becoming a party to the war; and that Chancellor Scholz must remain consistent with his “no” and not allow himself to be “blackmailed by the warmongers of the CDU/CSU, FDP and Greens.” Janine Wissler (Die Linke group) also backed the Chancellor’s decision, saying it was about nothing less than the danger of a new world war and about preventing German involvement in the war. Sahra Wagenknecht (BSW group) warned against a “careless game” by the CDU/CSU and within the coalition. Ukraine could not win this war and the Taurus would not change that.