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Cluster munition: banned by majority of countries in UN un-banned for convenience reasons

11.Jul.23 7:11 PM
By Abigail Richards
Photo Photobank


Cluster munition: banned by majority of countries in UN
A Russian top official accuses the US of waging an "undeclared war" against his country as the US has decided to supply cluster bombs to Ukraine.

Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, claims that the United States is involved in planning and managing Ukraine's military attacks on Russia.

The top security official has accused the US-led NATO of training the Ukrainian army, providing intelligence support to Kiev, and pumping tens of billions of dollars in weapons to the Ukrainian army to fight against Russian forces.

"Neo-Nazis seized power in Ukraine after the bloody coup organized by the US and its satellites. Pursuing their selfish goals, the US is waging an undeclared war against Russia, using the territory and population of Ukraine," Patrushev said at a national security meeting in the southern federal district, as reported by TASS.

"Today, the NATO states, led by the US, continue to finance the terrorist regime in Ukraine, arm it, provide intelligence, train Ukrainian troops, plan and coordinate military operations against the Russian army," the security official added.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has once again appealed to NATO leaders to take concrete steps towards Ukrainian membership at an upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania.

Ukraine wants to join as soon as possible, but there is division among NATO members over how quickly and whether such a decision should be made. Some members have expressed significant concerns about Ukraine's membership, fearing it could bring their own states closer to an active war with Russia.

In essence, Ukraine's NATO membership is not progressing as smoothly as Kiev had expected or was promised before the conflict with Russia erupted in February last year.

During a joint press conference with the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, Zelensky said, "we need honesty in our relations [with NATO]."

The White House has acknowledged that Ukraine's proposed accession to NATO will be discussed but not decided at the upcoming summit of the Western military alliance in Vilnius next week.

Russia's criticism of the US and Ukraine's frustration with NATO comes as Washington says it has decided to send cluster munitions to Ukraine to help it fight against Russian forces, despite days of international outrage over the expected shipment.

President Joe Biden has defended his decision to provide cluster bombs to Ukraine.

The news has raised alarm among human rights organizations and international organizations. Cluster munitions pose a random and immediate threat to civilians during conflicts by dispersing submunitions or bombs over a large area indiscriminately. As a result, cluster bombs, like landmines, pose a serious risk to civilians long after they are used. Unexploded cluster munitions can especially kill and maim children who mistake them for toys, years or even decades after the munitions were fired.

Israel has been widely condemned for its use of cluster munitions against Palestinians decades ago, the effects of which are still being felt.

President Joe Biden's national security adviser attempted to explain the matter, saying, "I'm not going to stand here and tell you that it's easy. It's a tough decision. It's a decision that we delayed. It's a decision that required a good hard look at the potential harm to civilians. And when we put all that together, there was a unanimous recommendation from the national security team and ultimately President Biden made the decision."

US NATO allies such as Germany, the UK, and Spain have opposed the move. The British Prime Minister suggested that the country "discourages" the use of cluster bombs.

Organizations like Human Rights Watch had urged the US not to deliver them to the war zone.

More than 120 countries have signed a convention banning cluster munitions. A 2009 law also prohibits the export of US cluster munitions with a failure rate of over 1%, covering almost the entire US military stockpile.

UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said, "The [UN] Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres) supports the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which, as you know, was adopted 15 years ago. And he wants countries to adhere to the provisions of that treaty. And that's why, of course, he doesn't want to see cluster munitions still being used on the battlefield."

However, Biden can waive the restrictions on the munitions, as Trump did in January 2021 to allow the export of cluster munition technology to South Korea.

A spokesperson for the Pentagon said that the Biden administration is shipping the bombs to Ukraine as part of Washington's latest $800 million military package to Ukraine.

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