Prior to a Nato conference this week in Lithuania, US Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in the UK. This comes after some allies questioned his decision to deliver cluster bombs to Ukraine.
Many nations have expressed worry about selling the bombs because of the risk they represent to civilians, including the UK and Canada.
The US claims that they are essential because Ukraine’s arsenal is running low.
Mr. Biden will meet Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the UK, on Monday.
The conflict in Ukraine is among the topics the two men are anticipated to discuss.
Following the unveiling of the cluster bombs on Friday, Mr. Sunak has not specifically condemned his US counterpart; nevertheless, on Saturday, he noted that the UK was one of the 123 nations that had ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, an international agreement that forbids the development or deployment of the weapons.
But other US allies have gone far further. New Zealand, a member of NATO, warned on Sunday that the munitions may “hugely damage innocent people.”
Cluster bombs often disperse a large number of smaller bomblets that can kill anyone anywhere. Bomblets that have not yet exploded can remain on the ground for several years before going off.
According to the US, Kyiv has written assurances that Ukrainian military won’t use the weaponry in Russia or in populated regions.
Additionally, Mr. Biden will have his first encounter with King Charles since the monarch’s coronation when in the UK.
Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday, a meeting of Nato members, a military alliance of 31 Western countries, will take place in Vilnius. Ammunition stockpile expansion and a review of the defence strategy will be on the agenda.
Finland will participate in its first summit since joining in April, and Turkey, which suspects Sweden of harbouring terrorists, has prevented it from following suit. Mr. Biden is anticipated to ask Mr. Sunak for assistance in negotiating an agreement with Turkey.
The Ukraine has its own aspirations to join NATO. But Mr. Biden indicated this could not happen until the conflict was done in an interview with CNN prior to his travel, in keeping with the alliance’s long-standing position.
Using the mutual defence treaty of NATO as an example, Mr. Biden emphasised that members are obligated to defend “every inch” of one another’s land, which means that “if the war is going on, then we’re all in war.”
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has already agreed to this stance while asking for a “signal” that his nation will be able to join the alliance after the war is finished. The gathering this week is anticipated to include him.