Ottawa: The decision to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions is related to NATO’s lack of industrial defense capacity and the alliance’s focus should be on expanding it, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly said on Tuesday.
“Of course, we do not agree with the American position [on cluster munitions deliveries to Ukraine], and we’ve mentioned it to the American officials. Meanwhile, what I think the alliance needs to be focusing on is really expanding the defense industrial capacity, because we’re in this position right now because of the issue of lack of defense, industrial capacity. So that’s something that we need to be working on in Canada but also within the alliance,” Joly said during a press conference from Vilnius.
Canada has a long-standing commitment to “human security,” Joly said, while highlighting the roles played by former Canadian foreign affairs ministers on the issue. She noted that Ottawa remains committed to its obligations under international conventions on cluster bombs and landmines, including the 1997 Ottawa Treaty.
Joly added that despite Washington’s decision to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine, and Kiev’s use of the weapons on the battlefield, Canada would not cease its support for Ukrainian authorities in their fight against Russian forces.
Canada’s stance on cluster bombs is related to the country’s adherence to the 2010 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits the production, use, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. Ottawa became a signatory to the treaty in 2015.
Several NATO states and other partners including Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and New Zealand have criticized the use of cluster munitions after Washington announced his intention to deliver the weapons to Ukraine.