By: Nick Pope, Daily Caller News Foundation
Political leaders from Spain and the United Kingdom voiced their disagreement Saturday with President Joe Biden’s change of heart over providing widely-banned cluster munitions to Ukrainian forces, according to Politico.
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Spain’s Defense Minister Margarita Robles each voiced their disagreement with the Biden administration’s decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukrainian forces in Saturday remarks to reporters, according to Politico. Biden’s decision to send the munitions marks the latest reversal of U.S. policy to send weapons to the Ukrainians that had previously been deemed too sensitive.
Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated the administration’s view that Russia’s use of cluster munitions in the war “would potentially be a war crime” in February 2022. Biden said that the choice to change his mind and send cluster munitions to the Ukrainians was “a difficult decision” in a Friday interview with CNN.
“We will continue to do our part to support Ukraine against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion, but we’ve done that by providing heavy battle tanks and most recently long-range weapons, and hopefully all countries can continue to support Ukraine,” Sunak said, according to Sky News. He also highlighted the U.K.’s status as a signatory of the international Convention on Cluster Munitions, to which the U.S. is not an observing party, according to Sky News.
Sunak’s statement comes just two days before his scheduled Monday meeting with Biden in London, according to Politico.
“Spain, based on the firm commitment it has with Ukraine, also has a firm commitment that certain weapons and bombs cannot be delivered under any circumstances,” Robles said Saturday, according to Reuters. “No to cluster bombs and yes to the legitimate defense of Ukraine, which we understand should not be carried out with cluster bombs.”
The munitions are banned by numerous other U.S. allies, including Germany, France, Japan and Australia, because the submunitions they contain often do not detonate right away, leaving the dangerous duds on the ground and posing high casualty risk to civilians, according to the Cluster Munition Coalition’s website.
Neither the White House nor the State Department responded immediately to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.