Putin says US supply of cluster munitions to Ukraine should be treated as ‘crime’

By Anadolu Agency

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that Washington’s supply of cluster munitions to Ukraine should be treated as a crime.

“The US administration itself gave an assessment to these munitions through the mouths of its employees some time ago, when the use of cluster munitions was called a crime by the US administration itself. I think this is how it should be treated,” Putin said in an interview to the TV channel Rossiya-1.

Putin further said that his country retains the right to “mirror actions” in the case where cluster munitions are used against Russia, adding that Moscow has a “sufficient stock of various types of cluster munitions.”

“Until now, we have not done this, we have not used it, and we have not had such a need, despite the well-known shortage in a certain period of time, and we also have ammunition, but we have not done this,” Putin said.

He also said that he believes the US is supplying Ukraine with cluster munitions due to a general shortage of ammunition.

“The Ukrainian army spends up to 5,000-6,000 155-caliber shells per day of hostilities, while the US produces 15,000 per month. They don’t have enough, and Europe already doesn’t have enough (shells). But they did not find anything better than to propose the use of cluster munitions,” he added.​​​​​​​

Cluster munitions release bomblets that scatter in the target area and may explode years later causing civilian casualties.

The 2008 UN Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions.

Reverse engineering

Putin also commented on seized Western equipment during the Russia-Ukraine war, saying that the country would look into reverse engineering in order to analyze the possible use of Western technology in its own equipment and weapons.

“There is such an expression as ‘reverse engineering.’ Well, let’s see, because modern technology is modern … The enemy also produces modern equipment. If there is an opportunity to look inside and see if there is something that can be applied to us, well, why not?” he said.