While the United States intends to announce a new aid package to Ukraine, the European Union approved a new plan to support Kiev, which Moscow considered a new escalation of the conflict on the part of Western countries. US officials revealed that Washington intends to announce new military aid to Ukraine that includes cluster munitions, and a US official stated that the new military aid will include cluster munitions.
Media outlets did not rule out that Washington would announce an additional military aid package to Ukraine, stressing that the Pentagon intends to provide Ukraine with an ample amount of cluster bombs.
Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said: If it is decided to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions, the Pentagon will make sure to provide it with types that have low failure rates, pointing out that cluster munitions will be useful in any type of offensive operations.
For its part, the Russian agency “Sputnik” quoted Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, as saying that the United States’ supply of cluster munitions to Ukraine would be another step towards escalation.
Two days ago, Human Rights Watch appealed to Washington to avoid supplying cluster munitions to Kiev, and accused Russia of using these munitions in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, EU negotiators approved a €500 million plan to boost munitions production in support of Ukraine. German news agency DPA reported that EU negotiators agreed on the plan to boost supplies of ammunition and long-range missiles to Ukraine.
And the agency stated that the Spanish presidency of the Union announced, today (Friday), that the negotiators of the Union and the European Parliament have reached an agreement on a plan to provide the defense industry in Europe with financial incentives to expand production capabilities quickly, and the initiative will be funded from the common budget of the bloc.
“This is further evidence of the EU’s unwavering commitment to support Ukraine,” Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said in a statement, adding that it would also strengthen the EU’s defense technology and industrial base, and ultimately guarantee the long-term security and defense of the bloc’s citizens.
In turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to take concrete steps towards granting membership to his country at a summit next week.
He said that his country needs much more than just the general declaration it obtained more than 10 years ago that the door of the alliance is “open” to it, adding that Kiev needs honesty in its relations with the alliance, and that the time has come to show “the courage and strength of this alliance.” ».
During the summit, which will be held on July 11 and 12 in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, Kiev is seeking to obtain a clear signal from NATO that it can obtain membership when its war with Russia ends.
On the ground, the Russian military website, Ribar, revealed that the Russian forces repelled attempts by the Ukrainian army to attack sites in the town of Berkhovka, north of Bakhmut, and regained control of the nearby Berkhovka Dam. He pointed out that the Russian army repelled Ukrainian attacks near the town of Arikhov in Zaporizhia.
While the pro-Russian authorities in Donetsk announced that at least 5 civilians were injured in the Ukrainian bombing of areas under Russian control.
It added that the Ukrainian forces bombed neighborhoods in Donetsk, the cities of Gorlovka, Makievka, and nearby towns with more than 120 shells during the past 24 hours.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian Air Force said that the Ukrainian air defenses shot down 12 of the 18 marches launched by the Russian forces towards Ukrainian territory at night.
The Ukrainian General Staff confirmed that several towns in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson were subjected to Russian artillery and missile strikes. And the Ukrainian General Staff announced that its forces had carried out a number of raids on Russian sites, targeting more than 10 military centers and units with artillery, during the past 24 hours.