In response to President Biden’s decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, expressed disapproval. The UK is a signatory to a convention that discourages the use of cluster munitions and prohibits their production or use. Sunak stated that the UK discourages the use of cluster bombs and will continue to support Ukraine in other ways. This aligns with the disapproval expressed by the Spanish Minister of Defense as well.
The Spanish Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, has expressed her disapproval of President Biden’s decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine. Robles stated that cluster bombs should not be sent to Ukraine, as they are prohibited by international treaties and pose a significant risk to civilians. She emphasized the importance of legitimate defense for Ukraine but not at the expense of using indiscriminate and dangerous weapons.
President Biden has defended his decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine, emphasizing that it was made because Ukraine is running out of ammunition in its fight against Russia. He stated that the Ukrainians need these munitions to bolster their defense capabilities.
However, it is important to note that cluster munitions are banned by over 100 countries due to the potential harm they can cause to civilians and the long-lasting explosive hazards they create. This decision has raised concerns from human rights groups and some lawmakers, who argue that the use of cluster munitions should be avoided to minimize civilian casualties.
Cluster munitions have killed or injured an estimated 56,000 to 86,000 civilians globally since World War II. This indicates that cluster munitions have caused significant civilian harm and casualties and yet the United States of America is sending cluster munitions to Ukraine. The Biden administration stated that the munitions will be compatible with US-provided artillery and there will be assurances that they will not be used in urban areas with civilians. The US is also providing other military aid such as armored vehicles and ammunition to Ukraine.