Olaf Scholz

Germany to send Patriot air-defense system to Ukraine but holds out on Taurus missiles

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Germany agreed to send a Patriot air-defense system to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday, but Berlin hasn’t relented on its refusal to provide Kyiv with Taurus cruise missiles.

The move by Germany came after a telephone call between Scholz and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday in which Zelenskyy described “the massive Russian air attacks on the civilian energy infrastructure,” the German leader said in a post on X. “We stand unwaveringly by Ukraine’s side,” Scholz added.

Zelenskyy, in a separate message on X, thanked Scholz for “the decision to deliver an additional Patriot air-defense system to Ukraine, as well as air-defense missiles for existing systems.”

Kyiv has been pleading with its Western allies for additional military supplies, including more Patriot missile batteries. Western support has weakened in recent months, with a major American aid package held up by partisan bickering in the U.S. Congress.

“This is a real manifestation of support for Ukraine at a critical time for us,” Zelenskyy said in a statement on the Ukrainian government website. “I call on all other leaders of the partner states to follow suit,” he said.

Despite the new aid, Scholz is still refusing to provide Kyiv with Taurus cruise missiles — a move Zelenskyy sharply criticized earlier this week. Ukraine wants the German-made Taurus missiles, which have a range of around 500 kilometers and carry a powerful warhead, in order to strike targets behind the frontlines, such as the Kerch Bridge linking Russia and occupied Crimea.

Scholz has adamantly refused to send the German missiles to Ukraine, arguing that it could lead to an escalation of the war or even draw Germany into direct conflict with Russia.

In his message on X, Zelenskyy said he had an “important and productive call” with Scholz where they also discussed two upcoming conferences on peace and Ukraine’s recovery. “This is a genuine show of support for Ukraine in a critical moment. I urge all other partner country leaders to follow suit,” Zelenskyy said.

As Western military aid to Ukraine slows, the Ukrainian army’s commander-in-chief on Saturday pleaded for faster support from allies to counter Moscow’s superior weapons. Oleksandr Syrskyi said the situation on Ukraine’s eastern front has “deteriorated significantly in recent days.”