The Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that his army has sufficient stocks of cluster bombs, vowing to use them on the front in Ukraine if Kiev uses these weapons, which it received from the United States.
These controversial weapons can disperse up to hundreds of small explosive devices that may remain in the ground without exploding, posing a danger to civilians after the conflict ends.
“In Russia, there are sufficient stocks of cluster bombs of various kinds,” Putin said in an interview with the state owned Russia 1 TV channel.
“Until now, we didn’t use them, there was no need for that, although we faced a known shortage of ammunition at some point,” he added.
“But if they are used against us, we reserve for ourselves countermeasures,” the Russian president said.
“If the United States supplies Ukraine with cluster bombs, the Russian armed forces will be forced to use similar means of destruction,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.
Since the beginning of the conflict, Ukrainian soldiers have accused the Russian army of using these weapons.
Putin believed that the United States had announced the delivery of these weapons because it was facing a shortage of ammunition that it was offering to provide to Ukraine.
The Russian president explained that the Ukrainian army uses daily up to five thousand or six thousand 155 mm shells.
It’s known that the United States produces 15 thousand of similar shell every month.
“The Americans don’t have enough, and Europe also doesn’t have enough… Nothing they propose is better than using cluster bombs,” Putin said.
Several countries banned the use of these munitions under the 2008 Oslo Accords.
However, many countries, such as the United States, Russia and Ukraine, haven’t ratified them yet.