Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says countries must avoid using cluster munitions.
That comes several days after American President Joe Biden announced the United States will send the controversial weapons to Ukraine to help that country’s counter-offensive against Russia.
“Canada was one of the countries that led on the banning of cluster munitions around the world,” Trudeau told reporters on Monday.
“And we will continue to stand very strongly that they should not be used.”
Cluster munitions open in the air and release many smaller bombs.
Most, but not all, of the bomblets explode when they hit the ground. Those that don’t can remain intact and active for years, sometimes long after the fighting has ended.
They create what are essentially minefields, which could end up maiming or killing civilians.
A total of 123 countries around the world, including two-thirds of NATO members, have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, banning the weapons.
The United States, Ukraine and Russia are not signatories.
U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan previously said he recognized the “risk of civilian harm from unexploded ordinance” and said the country will send cluster bombs with a smaller “dud rate,” where fewer of the bomblets will fail to explode.
Another American official said Ukraine needs the weapons to keep them in the fight.
Trudeau, speaking to reporters in Latvia after meeting that country’s prime minister, said he recognizes the need for more munitions and “holding strong, even pushing back against the illegal Russian invasion.”
“I can tell you that all allies are working very, very hard to deliver more munitions to Ukraine,” he said.
NATO member states are scheduled to meet in Lithuania on Tuesday for their annual summit.
— with files from The Associated Press’s Zeke Miller, Tara Copp and Lolita C. Baldor and The Canadian Press.
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