Estonia seeks Germany's approval over cluster munitions supplies to Ukraine

    WORLD  27 January 2023 - 11:04

    Estonia is considering transferring cluster munitions to Ukraine, but this requires German approval.

    Over 100 countries of the world have joined the Convention on the prohibition and non-proliferation of this type of ammunition, but Estonia and Ukraine are not included in them, local public broadcaster ERR reports.

    The cluster shells at the disposal of the Estonian Defence Forces were once purchased in Germany, and in order to transfer them to Ukraine, it is necessary to obtain the consent of the manufacturing country.

    "Estonia has decided to provide Ukraine with 155 mm artillery ammunition. I do not consider it necessary to talk about the details of the agreements between the armed forces of Estonia and Ukraine, particularly about the quantity and nomenclature of ammunition. If we provide cluster munitions to Ukraine, I don't see any problems here, since both warring parties are already using such ammunition on the territory of Ukraine," Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said.

    It should be noted that cluster munitions are considered especially dangerous for the civilian population, if only because unexploded elements turn into essentially a mine and can kill or injure random people. However, during the war in Ukraine, many cases of the use of such weapons were recorded.

    "The use of such shells and bombs in densely populated areas is prohibited, but that's exactly what the Russians did, for example, in Kharkiv. On the other hand, using such ammunition to suppress enemy forces in an open area may be quite justified, since these armed forces are legitimate targets for strikes," said Rene Viark, a co-professor of international law at Tartu University in Estonia.

    Germany, on whose consent the possibility of supplying cluster munitions from Estonia to Ukraine now depends, has refused to manufacture and use such projectiles.

    According to Viark, this circumstance may complicate the relevant negotiations between the Estonian and German defence ministries.

    Caliber.Az

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