Asked whether the delivery of F-16 fighter jets by the Netherlands and Denmark to Ukraine would increase the pressure on the German government on the Taurus issue, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said “such pressure was not felt,” according to German media outlet Tagesschau.
The spokesman said that German government is still leaving the decision open of whether it will supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles or not.
“It is important that there is no new status at the moment,” he said. It is also important “that Ukraine is supported to the best of our ability,” said Hebestreit, emphasizing that the Germany is Ukraine's strongest military supporter after the US.
The Netherlands and Denmark committed on Sunday to send up to 61 F-16s to Ukraine during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit.
Zelenskyy said afterwards that he hoped that the two countries’ donation would catalyze more countries to donate combat aircraft.
He said: “Today’s decisions of Denmark and the Netherlands were only the first fruits that would become an important signal for other countries to provide combat aircraft to Ukraine.”
Kyiv has been repeatedly asking Berlin to provide it with the Taurus missiles. Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba has called on Berlin to provide Taurus missiles as soon as possible.
He said that with the Taurus missiles, Ukraine could “reach the Russian occupying forces on Ukrainian soil far beyond the front line, disrupt their logistics and destroy command centers and ammunition depots.”