(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Olaf Scholz ruled out sending long-range Taurus missiles to Ukraine, arguing that supplying them would mean Germany becomes a party to the war against Russia.

“German soldiers must not be linked to the targets that this system reaches at any point or place. Not even in Germany,” Scholz said Monday at a conference in Berlin hosted by newswire Dpa, according to a transcript distributed by his press office. 

Scholz said that the Taurus system could only be used with the participation of German personnel. “I’m surprised that some people aren’t moved at all, that they don’t even think about whether what we’re doing could, in a sense, lead to participation in the war,” he said.

Ukraine has urgently requested the bunker-busting Taurus cruise missiles which would enable the embattled country to strike targets in Moscow. Scholz has long refused to deliver those missiles, which has provoked criticism from within his own coalition. Supporters of a Taurus delivery argue that the missile might be a game-changer.

Scholz joined a conference in support of Ukraine hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Monday evening. Germany is the second-biggest military supporter of Ukraine after the US and has given €28 billion ($30 billion) in military aid since the start of the Russian invasion two years ago.

Europe’s inability to provide Ukraine with sufficient military equipment has opened a rift between eastern and western nations. The mood in diplomatic circles in the east is that should Russia ultimately win, Western Europe won’t be forgiven and the whole European integration project could be jeopardized.

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