German defence minister to skip Ramstein Ukraine meeting due to COVID

FILE PHOTO: Defence ministers of Germany, Estonia and Latvia visit German arms maker Diehl

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius will not take part at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at German Ramstein U.S. Air Base on Tuesday due to COVID-19 infection, a spokesperson for the ministry said on Monday.

The meeting of allies assisting Ukraine has been highly anticipated and comes as the United States explores the shipment of ATACMS longer-range missiles packed with cluster bombs to Ukraine.

Kyiv has also been pushing Germany to send similar Taurus missiles that could give Ukraine the ability to cause significant damage deeper within Russian-occupied territory, but Berlin has repeatedly said it will only act in concert with Washington on arms deliveries.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Bill Berkrot)