On Friday, July 7, Deputy Pentagon Chief Colin Cole announced that the United States is transferring cluster munitions to Ukraine as part of another military aid package, TASS reports.
“The new $800 million aid package will include 155mm artillery shells, including cluster munitions,” he said.
According to him, Washington has “hundreds of thousands of cluster munitions”, but the number transferred to Kyiv will not be announced.
Explaining this decision, US President Joseph Biden noted that Kyiv and Washington were “running out of conventional shells”:
“This war depends on ammunition. They [Ukrainians] were running out of them, and we also have few of them. Therefore, I accepted the recommendation of the Ministry of Defense to transfer – not as a permanent measure, but for a transitional period – such projectiles until we produce more 155 mm ammunition, ”he said.
The American media reported on the corresponding deliveries the day before, citing sources. In particular, an unnamed Pentagon spokesman said that the United States intends to pick up cluster munitions for Ukraine, which allegedly will pose a “minimal threat to civilians.”
Against this background, human rights activists from Human Rights Watch pointed out the high danger of such ammunition for civilians and warned both Russia and Ukraine against using them. According to the organization, the percentage of unexploded elements, as a rule, is much higher than the declared one, which leads to casualties among the civilian population.
“The answer will be tough”
Commenting on the decision of the White House, Grigory Karasin, head of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, said that the Russian side’s response to the transfer of cluster munitions from the United States to Kiev will be tough.
“A new step towards escalation around Ukraine, to which the response will be very tough. I hope that the international community will appreciate the situation, which is becoming increasingly alarming and raises serious concerns about where the situation is heading from the unilateral, absolutely incomprehensible decisions of Washington and the NATO leadership, ”RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova recalled the words of former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that “the use of cluster munitions is a war crime.”
Earlier, German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock assured that Germany would continue to comply with the Convention on Cluster Munitions and refrain from supplying them to Ukraine. “Gesture of Despair” Who in the West is going to supply cluster munitions to Kyiv Germany has signed the Convention on cluster munitions and will refrain from supplying them to Ukraine – so…
The Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008 was signed by 123 countries, but ratified by 110 of them. They pledged never, under any circumstances, to manufacture, use or transfer such ammunition to anyone.
About the NATO summit in Vilnius
In addition, during today’s briefing, Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Jake Sullivan said that Ukraine will not be admitted to NATO following the upcoming summit of the alliance in Vilnius.
According to him, Kyiv “still needs reforms” to meet the standards that apply to candidates for NATO membership.
“Ukraine will need to take some more steps before joining [NATO],” Sullivan explained.
For his part, John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the White House National Security Council, pointed out that Ukraine has not yet met the requirements for joining the North Atlantic Alliance.
Kirby stated that “Ukraine is in the middle of a conflict” and the focus should be on “helping Kyiv succeed in it.”
Nevertheless, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky believes that Kyiv can still count on an invitation to NATO at the July 11-12 summit.
“Despite everything, we are still working [on the result in NATO]. There is no final result that can be in Vilnius. This is a very difficult, difficult job. No matter what happens, we will continue to fight,” Zelensky said. Military operation in Ukraine. Day 499 German intelligence could eavesdrop on the negotiations of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko with the founder… 08 July 00:01
He stressed that the invitation to NATO is necessary in order to motivate Ukrainian servicemen.
In turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that NATO member countries should clearly define the time frame when they are ready to invite Ukraine to the alliance.
“Membership has formal requirements, but an invitation does not. All that is required is strategic foresight and political will,” the minister said.
According to him, Kyiv asks the alliance to recognize “three obvious things” at the upcoming summit:
“NATO needs Ukraine just as Ukraine needs NATO”, “Kyiv is an integral part of Euro-Atlantic security”, “Ukraine should be invited to the alliance now, but it will become a member of NATO when it fully meets its requirements” , – Kuleba listed them.
Ukraine’s path to NATO
In 2008, a NATO summit was held in Bucharest, during which the prospects for Ukraine and Georgia to join the alliance were considered. From that moment, Kyiv and Tbilisi began negotiations with Brussels on the introduction of a NATO Membership Action Plan.
The Verkhovna Rada in December 2014 amended two laws, refusing the non-bloc status of Ukraine.
In February 2019, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted amendments to the constitution, fixing the country’s course towards the EU and NATO. Ukraine has become the sixth state to receive NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status. In September 2022, Zelensky announced that Kyiv had applied to join NATO on an accelerated basis.
Speaking about the upcoming summit in the capital of Lithuania, the head of the Bundestag foreign policy committee, Michael Roth, said that Ukraine should be admitted to NATO “in parts”:
“Instead of ultimatums or any threats against Russia, I advocate a slightly different interpretation of the treaty basis for Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO. I would not set a condition for acceptance of an ideal world [on the territory of the country].
For example, one should say: those parts of Ukraine that are under the reliable control of the democratic Kyiv authorities , should be assigned to NATO territory as soon as possible.
For them, in this case, the fifth article [on collective defense] would be valid. The obligation to provide assistance would not have spread to other regions of Ukraine, ”he explained his idea in an interview with the Die Zeit newspaper.
According to him, it must be determined that the final peaceful solution to the conflict “is in the hands of Ukraine.” “This proposal would be valid even in the Kremlin,” Roth concluded.