US reluctant to send cluster munitions to Ukraine – media – RT World News
Banned by more than 100 countries, most of these weapons leave behind unexploded elements that pose a threat to civilians
washington is not “actively consider” sending cluster munitions to Kyiv, Politico reported Friday, citing a source familiar with the matter. According to Russian law enforcement, Ukrainian troops have used this type of weapon before, killing four civilians in the city of Kherson in October.
Ukraine has been asking for Cold War-era munitions stockpiled by the United States since at least late September, according to reports by Foreign Policy magazine. Like most other types of cluster munitions, those made in the United States can leave behind unexploded submunitions, which civilians can accidentally stumble upon.
These weapons have been banned under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which has been signed by most EU members, but not by the United States, Ukraine or the Russia.
“According to our own policy, we are concerned about the use of this type of ammunition”, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday, without specifically mentioning kyiv’s request.
A US official also told Politico on condition of anonymity that Ukraine’s request for cluster munitions is just one of many, which Washington is not. “actively consider” at present. That doesn’t mean the United States can’t consider this option in the future, the official said.
The United States Congress previously imposed an export ban on such ammunition. However, according to Politico, President Joe Biden or even Secretary of State Antony Blinken could possibly override this ban. U.S. officials still believe such a move is unnecessary at this time, according to a previous CNN report.
Since the start of the conflict, the United States has committed more than $19 billion in security assistance to Kyiv. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly warned the West against sending arms to Ukraine, arguing that this would only prolong the conflict and “brings more pain” for the country.
Russian officials reported that Ukrainian forces had previously used Soviet-made cluster munitions. In late October, Kiev troops launched an attack on the Dnieper crossing at Kherson that killed four civilians, including a journalist, according to Aleksandr Malkevich, a senior official with the Civic Chamber of Russia. The Russian Board of Inquiry concluded that a US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launcher cluster munition was used in the attack.
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