Lithuanian Defence Ministry Proposes To Withdraw From the Convention on Cluster Munitions
The Lithuanian Ministry of Defence proposes that the country's State Defence Council consider withdrawing from the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits the use, transfer and production of cluster bombs.
This was reported by LRT.lt.
According to the report, the Ministry believes that cluster munitions are a highly effective means of defence that Lithuania should be able to use.
In the event of an armed conflict against Lithuania, Russia and Belarus would undoubtedly use cluster munitions, which would give them a military advantage.
The ministry emphasises that the treaty does not involve the United States, nor "other countries such as Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Turkey, which are our allies and with whom we plan to defend ourselves against possible aggression".
Lithuania joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2011. It prohibits the use, production and acquisition of cluster munitions and establishes specific obligations to address the humanitarian consequences of these weapons.
A cluster munition is a form of explosive weapon dropped from the air or ground that fires or ejects smaller submunitions. Because cluster munitions release many small bombs over a large area, they pose a risk to civilians.
According to Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas, the country needs to abandon the ban "on the acquisition and use" of cluster munitions. Lithuania, he insisted, "cannot even train specialists to neutralise them, to deal with them, because under this convention it cannot even import such munitions, store and use them".
Lithuanian Defence Minister first expressed hope that Lithuania would withdraw from the Convention in mid-August.
As reported by The Gaze, on 7 July, the US announced an $800 million military aid package for Ukraine, which for the first time includes cluster munitions. This ammunition was intended to temporarily address the shortage of artillery shells.
The supply of cluster munitions to Ukraine is one of the most controversial topics in the West. After all, the International Convention, adopted in 2008 and signed by more than 100 countries, prohibits their use, transfer, production and storage. However, Ukraine, like Russia, has not signed the document. The United States is ready to invest in the security of the de-occupied territories. More than $95 million has already been allocated for demining, and the US promises to mitigate the consequences of the use of cluster munitions by both the Ukrainian and Russian armies in the future.
As it became known at the end of August, the United States is considering providing Kyiv with cluster munitions for long-range rocket artillery with a longer range.