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U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles on July 8 came out against the provision of cluster munitions to Ukraine by the U.S.
A White House press release from July 7 stated that the new $800 million defense aid package to Ukraine contains cluster munitions.
Robles said that Spain has an obligation to ensure that certain weapons cannot be delivered, saying "no to cluster munitions and yes to aid for the lawful defense of Ukraine."
Sunak said that he doesn't approve of the use of cluster weapons since the U.K. has signed a convention banning them.
According to Foreign Policy magazine, cluster munitions can be fired by the 155mm artillery systems that the U.S. has already provided to Ukraine and could be very effective at clearing Russian defense lines.
The step proved controversial due to humanitarian concerns over the use of cluster munitions. The unexploded bomblets may pose a danger to the civilian population in the area long after the hostilities end.
More than 100 countries have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions, banning their use, production, and stockpiling. The U.S., Russia, and Ukraine are not among the signatories.
The proportion of bomblets that do not explode upon impact is called the "dud rate." According to U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the munitions provided to Ukraine will not have a dud rate higher than 2.5%, compared to 30-40% of cluster munitions that Russia uses in Ukraine.
Sullivan emphasized that the U.S. will cooperate with Ukraine on demining efforts and that Kyiv intends to use cluster munitions to defend its sovereign territory and citizens.