The Department of Defense announced Friday that the United States will send cluster munitions to Ukraine in an effort to boost its fight against Russia.
The Story: National security adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed the news in a press briefing on Friday, saying, the munitions were important for Ukraine to sustain its military operations.
- “We will not leave Ukraine defenseless at any point in this conflict, period,” Sullivan said.
- The cluster munitions are part of the $800 million military assistance package for Ukraine.
Going deeper: President Joe Biden told CNN the decision was “very difficult” for him but said he had the approval of Congress and U.S. allies to move forward.
- “It was a very difficult decision on my part. And by the way, I discussed this with our allies, I discussed this with our friends up on the Hill,” Biden said.
- “The Ukrainians are running out of ammunition,” the president added.
Taking heat: The decision to send the weapons to Ukraine by the Biden administration has been met with frustration by two dozen congressional Democrats.
- Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Ill.) says she plans to introduce an amendment to the bill that would ban the sale of cluster munitions.
- “We can support the people of Ukraine in their freedom struggle, while also opposing violations of international law,” Omar said.
- Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) said victory in Ukraine “cannot come at the expense of our American values and thus democracy itself.”
An outside look: Over 120 countries have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans the use, production, and transfer of cluster munitions.