US 'committed war crime' by supplying Ukraine with cluster bombs: Russia

US 'committed war crime' by supplying Ukraine with cluster bombs: Russia

Russian Defense Minister Shoygu says US is 'steadily raising the stakes, seeking supplies from allies of increasingly long-range and deadly weapons'

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Shoygu accused the US of war crimes amid supplies of cluster munitions to Ukraine that are prohibited by international law.

"In the face of a growing shortage of ammunition for Western-style artillery systems in the armed forces of Ukraine, Washington committed a war crime by including cluster munitions prohibited by international convention in the aid package," he told a meeting of Russian military chiefs in Moscow.

According to the minister, the total amount of assistance provided to Ukraine by NATO, the EU, and their allies exceeded $160 billion.

Shoygu noted that the US is "steadily raising the stakes, seeking supplies from allies of increasingly long-range and deadly weapons."

"The willingness of the West to invest in Ukraine a significant part of available resources in order to turn the situation on the battlefield in its favor creates serious risks of further escalation of the conflict," he warned.

The minister described Finland and Sweden's NATO membership as a "destabilizing factor" because additional military contingents and NATO strike weapons are likely to be deployed on Finnish territory, capable of hitting critically important objects in Russia's northwest "to a considerable depth."

Also, after Helsinki joined the alliance, Russia's land border with the bloc almost doubled.

NATO has 360,000 troops, 8,000 armored vehicles, 6,000 artillery systems and mortars, and 650 aircraft and helicopters stationed near the borders of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, he said.

Since February 2022, the number of formations of non-regional states of the North Atlantic bloc has increased 2.5 times and now exceeds 30,000 people, he noted.

"These threats to Russia's military security require a timely and adequate response. ... The groups of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the western borders of the country will be strengthened," Shoygu stressed.

- Poland blamed for planning to occupy Western Ukraine

Poland intends to form a joint Polish-Ukrainian force, ostensibly for security, but in reality, to occupy Western Ukraine, Shoygu claimed.

The minister said the US has weaponized Poland and turned it into its "main tool of anti-Russian policy."

He warned that Warsaw's plans to create the "most powerful army" on the continent pose significant threats to Russia in this regard.

"In this regard, large-scale purchases of weapons from the United States of America, Great Britain, and the Republic of Korea, including tanks, artillery systems, air defense systems, missile defense, and combat aviation, have started," he said.

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