WASHINGTON, – The US decided to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine out of despair, but the move won’t affect Russia’s determination to achieve the goals of its special military operation, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Friday.
“Cluster munitions are a desperate gesture. This measure tells the story that the US and its satellites have realized they are powerless. However, they do not want to admit their own failures and the failure of the attempts of Ukrainian forces to conduct an offensive against Russian regions. Hence this latest madness on their part,” he said.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made clear Britain “discourages” the use of cluster munitions after US President Joe Biden defended his decision to send the bombs to Ukraine.
The Prime Minister highlighted the UK was one of 123 signatories of a convention banning their use after the US leader made the “difficult decision”.
Mr Sunak, who will be meeting Mr Biden in London on Monday ahead of a Nato summit, said Britain was instead supporting Kyiv by providing tanks and long-range weapons.
Earlier, Mr Biden said he stood by the decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, describing the controversial step as a temporary measure to help Kyiv halt Russian tanks.
Russian diplomat said he believes that by raising the stakes in the Ukrainian conflict, Washington is bringing humanity closer to a global conflict.
“The current level of American provocations is indeed off the charts, bringing humanity closer to a new world war. The United States is so obsessed with the idea of defeating Russia that it does not realize the gravity of its actions. They are only increasing the number of victims and prolonging the agony of the Kiev regime,” he went on to say.
The ambassador stated that Washington turned a blind eye to civilian casualties, paid no regard to the concerns of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and shrugged of the objections from its allies.
“The cruelty and cynicism with which Washington has approached the issue of transferring lethal weapons to Kiev is astounding. The administration completely ignored experts, human rights activists, and lawmakers that voiced the theses that the move would be inhumane. It turned a blind eye to civilian casualties. Now there is a risk that the submunitions will be blowing up innocent civilians for many years ahead because of what the US is doing,” Antonov said.
He said he believes that the funneling of Western weapons into Ukraine will not be able to affect Russia’s efforts to achieve the goals of its special military operation, “which aims to eradicate threats to the security of the Russian Federation, including Nazism that has been nurtured in Ukraine.”
Cluster bombs can contain hundreds of submunitions. When the bomb is detonated in the air, the submunitions are scattered over an area of tens of square meters. Some of them do not explode immediately and remain on the ground, posing a threat to civilians long after the conflict has ended. The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which was adopted in 2008, has been joined by 111 countries, and another 12 have signed but not yet ratified it.
According to the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch, the proportion of unexploded submunitions is usually significantly higher than stated.