German Chancellor Scholz slammed by British conservatives for ‘abuse of secret intelligence’ on Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives for the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, June 30, 2022. North Atlantic Treaty Organization heads of state will meet for a NATO summit in Madrid from Tuesday through Thursday. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been scolded by a governing Conservative lawmaker in Britain for a “blatant abuse of secret intelligence” after claiming on Monday that British troops were helping the Ukrainian army to launch long-range missiles at Russian forces on the frontline.

Speaking in Berlin, the German leader told reporters that he would not deliver German-made long-range missiles because it would require German troops to assist on the ground, claiming that to follow Britain’s example would see his nation become a “participant in the war,” according to the Daily Mail.

Scholz said the delivery of Taurus weapons systems would bring German troops close to the front lines of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“What is being done in terms of target control and accompanying target control by the British and French cannot be done in Germany. Everyone who has dealt with this system knows that,” he said.

“German soldiers are not to be tethered at any time and at any place to the targets that the Taurus system, which is not being delivered to Ukraine, hits, after the Berlin parliament rejected the initiative. No doubt, everyone is wondering why Germany is not delivering these missiles to Ukraine, even though Britain and France are already doing so. Is someone playing Putin’s game?” he added.

Scholz’s comments were made at an event in Berlin organized by the DPA news agency. They are believed to be the first allegations that British troops have been supporting Ukrainian armed forces on the frontline.

Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative MP and former chairman of the U.K. House of Commons’s defense committee, told the Telegraph: “This is a blatant misuse of information, deliberately designed to distract from Germany’s reluctance to arm Ukraine with its own long-range missile system. This will no doubt be used by Russia to climb the escalator.”

Putin’s war in Ukraine, besides being bloody and devastating, has also been a test of the unity of Western countries in the face of Russian aggression and possible escalation. While ongoing disagreements have been seen when it comes to Europe’s continual financing of the war, further fractures have emerged in European unity this week after French President Emmanuel Macron refused to rule out sending French soldiers to Ukraine — a suggestion quickly shut down by other major European players.

However, it would seem that some NATO allies, including France, already have boots on the ground in some capacity.

The U.K. and France have long since announced that they are sending Storm Shadow and Scalp long-range missiles to Ukraine, respectively. On Tuesday, it was revealed that the U.K. had also stationed a “small number” of troops in Ukraine in support, stating only that some were involved in medical training. While the U.K. is known to provide Ukraine with intelligence on Russian targets, it is currently unknown to what extent support is given to Ukrainian troops in direct military action.

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