The chancellor said giving Kiev long-range missiles would require assistance from German troops, citing London’s example German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (C) arrives for a weekly cabinet meeting on February 28, 2024 at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany © AFP / John MACDOUGALL/AFP

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has come under fire from the UK after he suggested that there were British troops operating in Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia. Explaining the reasons why Berlin would not supply Kiev with long-range Taurus missiles, Scholz said this would require German military personnel on the ground providing assistance. He cited the examples of the UK and France, which furnished Ukraine with similar rockets last year.

“German soldiers can at no point and in no place be linked with the targets that this system reaches,” even if operating from German soil, the DPA news agency quoted Chancellor Scholz as saying during a conference organized by the media outlet on Monday.

He went on to say that Taurus “is a very long-range weapon, and what was done on the part of the British and French in terms of target-control and target-control assistance can’t be done in Germany.”

The German chancellor concluded that it would be “not very responsible” for his country to risk becoming a “party to the war.”

Germany still undecided on long-range weapons for Ukraine – FM Germany still undecided on long-range weapons for Ukraine – FM

Commenting on Scholz’s remark, Tobias Ellwood, the former chair of the Commons defense committee, said it was “a flagrant abuse of intelligence deliberately designed to distract from Germany’s reluctance to arm Ukraine with its own long-range missile system,” as quoted by The Telegraph. The British lawmaker was also sure that the statement would be “used by Russia to racket up the escalator ladder.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Financial Times quoted an anonymous senior European defense official as saying that “everyone knows there are Western special forces in Ukraine – they’ve just not acknowledged it officially.”

Addressing the press following a summit of Kiev’s backers in Paris on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron noted that “in terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything,” referring to a potential ground deployment of Western militaries.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hastened to clarify that there were “no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine.” This was followed by similar assurances by the leaders of Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that such a development would mean that “we have to talk not about the probability, but rather the inevitability” of an all-out military confrontation between NATO and Russia. (RT)