After Washington announced that it would provide Kiev with cluster bombs, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said today, Tuesday, that Russian cluster munitions are more effective than those of the Americans, warning that “if American cluster munitions are used on Russian soil, we will respond to them in kind.”
“The transfer of US cluster munitions to Kiev will prolong the conflict,” Shoigu said, adding that Russia had refrained from using cluster munitions “aware of the threat these munitions pose to the civilian population.”
‘No consensus within NATO’
The US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, had indicated earlier today that many NATO member states do not agree with the US decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions, but that this does not lead to a division in the ranks of the alliance.
“Of course, many nations have declared that they would not support such a step because of legal obligations, and my view is that the difference in views on the provision of one particular type of ammunition has not had much effect on the historically stable and enduring unity of NATO,” Sullivan told a news briefing. He added that “rumors about the death of the NATO unit are exaggerated,” according to the Russian agency, Tass.
He stressed that providing Kiev with cluster munitions would be a temporary measure until the production of conventional munitions is increased and stocks replenished, adding: “A few months ago, we began to seriously increase ammunition production, and once its quantities reach the level required to meet Ukraine’s needs, there will be no need to supply cluster munitions.” “.
On Friday, the United States announced its decision to supply Ukraine with cluster bombs for the first time since the start of the Russian military operation.
‘A very difficult decision’
The decision, which US President Joe Biden confirmed was “very difficult” to take, came at a time when Kiev forces were struggling to advance on the ground in a counterattack they launched a month ago to recapture Russian-controlled territories in eastern and southern Ukraine.
While Washington confirmed that it had obtained guarantees from Kiev that these weapons, which were banned by several countries, would not be used against civilians.
ban their use
It is noteworthy that the US decision drew criticism from several parties, especially non-governmental organizations.
Dozens of countries ban the use of these munitions under the 2008 Oslo Accords. But many other countries have not ratified them, including the United States, Ukraine, China and Russia.
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