Ukraine asks Germany for long-range missiles: Berlin

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Ukraine has asked Germany to supply it with Taurus cruise missiles, an air-launched weapon with a range of some 500km, a defence ministry representative in Berlin says.

Germany received the request several days ago, the representative said, confirming a report by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

She declined to provide further details or say how likely it was Germany would supply the missiles to Ukraine.

If it supplies the missiles, Germany would be following in the footsteps of Britain, which earlier in May became the first country to publicly provide Kyiv with long-range cruise missiles.

The US has so far declined to supply Ukraine with the 297km range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles amid concerns Ukraine could use them to strike inside Russia's internationally recognised borders.

Ukraine has been asking for months for this kind of weapon, but support from Western allies has focused on shorter-range weapons.

Taurus is built by European missile maker MBDA and has similar features to the British Storm Shadow.

It can be used to hit high-value targets, troops or fuel dumps deep behind the front lines and has the capability to destroy hardened targets such as bunkers buried deep underground.