Cluster Bombs to Ukraine: NATO Says No; Turkey Says Yes

February 19th, 2023 - by Pravda

NATO Secretary General Rejects
Ukraine’s Demand for Cluster Munitions

MOSCOW (February 18, 2023) — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg rejects Ukraine’s demand for cluster munitions and phosphorus incendiary weapons.

“NATO did not recommend or supply these types of weapons. We supply artillery and other types of weapons, but not cluster bombs,” Stoltenberg said.

Previously, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov called for the provision of cluster munitions and phosphorus bombs; the use of both types of weapons is controversial, and cluster munitions are prohibited by international law.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday on the sidelines of the Munich conference that if cluster munitions are provided to Ukrainian forces, these shells will be used exclusively against the Russian army.

“We have evidence that the Russian Federation uses cluster munitions. We understand that these shells are a controversial issue in the world. We are not part of the convention that bans the use of cluster munitions. Therefore, legally, there are no obstacles. And if we receive such shells, they will be used exclusively against Russian military forces,” he said.

German Green Party politician Anton Hofreiter criticised Ukraine’s demand for cluster munitions and phosphorus bombs.

Source: Stoltenberg in an interview with a German TV channel NTV at the Munich Security Conference, European Pravda reports.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era
Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

Jack Detsch and Robbie Gramer / Foreign Policy

(January 10, 2023) — The NATO ally began sending the first batches of so-called dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICMs) in November 2022, which were made during the Cold War era under a co-production agreement with the United States.

The weapons are designed to destroy tanks by bursting into smaller submunitions, which can linger on the battlefield for years if they do not immediately explode. Each round scatters about 88 bomblets. The United States is barred from exporting DPICMs under US law because of its high dud rate.

The move, which Turkey has sought to keep quiet for months, also highlights the high-wire act that Ankara has played throughout the conflict: supporting Ukraine with armed Bayraktar TB2 drones that helped break Russia’s advance on Kyiv and playing diplomatic middleman for the United Nations-brokered deal to export grain from the Ukrainian port of Odesa, all while purchasing Russian weapons for itself and angering NATO in the process.

Jack Detsch is a Pentagon and national security reporter at Foreign Policy., and Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy.