Home » Moscow summons German ambassador after leak of comments on aid to Ukraine

Moscow summons German ambassador after leak of comments on aid to Ukraine

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Moscow summons German ambassador after leak of comments on aid to Ukraine

Moscow summoned the German ambassador to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday, according to local media, a few days after the publication on social media of a sound recording purportedly showing German officials talking about their support for Ukraine.

The state media RIA Novosti broadcast images of the German ambassador, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, entering the Foreign Ministry building in Moscow surrounded by a crowd of journalists.

Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of Russian state channel RT, had posted the recording on social media on Friday, the day of the burial of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny following his still-unexplained death in a penal colony in the Arctic two weeks ago.

In the 38-minute recording, military officials are heard speaking in German about how kyiv could use long-range Taurus missiles against invading Russian forces. German authorities have not questioned the authenticity of the recording.

According to the German news agency dpa, in the conversation four officers, including the head of the German Air Force, Ingo Gerhartz, are heard discussing possible Taurus deployments before a meeting with the country’s Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius.

The conversation concludes that a rapid and early delivery of Taurus long-range cruise missiles would only be possible with the participation of German soldiers, and that instructing Ukrainian soldiers to deploy the Taurus on their own would be possible, but would take months.

The recording also indicates that the German government has not yet given the green light to the delivery of the cruise missiles that Ukraine has requested, dpa noted.

There has been debate in Germany over whether to provide the missiles to Ukraine, at a time when kyiv is suffering battlefield setbacks and American military aid is blocked in Congress.

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However, Chancellor Olaf Scholz explained last week his reservations about a Taurus delivery and said that Germany would then be directly involved in the fight.

The German explanation came after months of hesitancy in Germany over Ukrainian requests for Taurus missiles, which have a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles) and could theoretically be used against targets in the heart of Russian territory.

Over the weekend, German authorities said they were investigating the recording and how it was possible that a conversation between German military commanders was intercepted and leaked by Russia.

Scholz, who was visiting Rome over the weekend, described it as a “very serious matter” and said German authorities were working to clarify the matter “very carefully, very intensively and very quickly,” according to dpa.

For his part, Pistorius on Sunday described the recording as part of Russia’s “information war” against the West aimed at sowing discord in Germany.

Germany is now the second-largest provider of military aid to Ukraine, behind the United States, and has increased its support this year.

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