Trudeau says cluster bombs ‘should not be used’ after U.S. sends munitions to Ukraine

Trudeau says cluster bombs 'should not be used' after U.S. sends munitions to Ukraine

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will continue to strongly advocate that cluster bombs “should not be used,” after the United States announced it is sending the munitions to help Ukraine’s war effort against Russian aggressors.

Trudeau told reporters in Latvia on the eve of a summit held by the NATO military alliance that Canada abides by an international treaty prohibiting the use of explosives that scatter small bombs across a wide terrain.

The prime minister said Canada was one of the countries that led on the banning of cluster munitions and it will “continue to stand very strongly” on its position, adding in French they should “never” be used.

Trudeau spoke to the issue when asked whether he’d pressure the Biden administration not to send cluster bombs, or ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy not to use them.

Ottawa pioneered efforts in the 1990s to ban anti-personnel mines, and was among the most enthusiastic nations to sign the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, though the U.S. and Ukraine have never endorsed that pact.

The Cluster Munition Coalition says both Russia and Ukraine have used such bombs in the ongoing conflict, despite the fact they can leave behind unexploded ordnances that maim and kill decades after they were first dropped.

Washington has argued that Ukraine needs such arms to keep up its counteroffensive against Russia as Kyiv runs out of certain weapons that won’t be replaced until industrial production catches up.

Its decision to provide them came just days before transatlantic heads of state meet Tuesday in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, to take stock of NATO and Ukraine’s request to join the military alliance.

Trudeau added during the Monday press conference that he understands countries are sending as many munitions as they can to Kyiv.

Last November, during a visit to Cambodia, Trudeau pledged nearly $1 million to help remove unexploded landmines and cluster bombs from Southeast Asian countries.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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