Ukraine is demanding controversial cluster munitions and phosphorus incendiary weapons from its Western backers for the fight against Russia. The United States and a number of other allies would have millions of shots from it, said Deputy Prime Minister Olexander Kubrakow on Friday evening at the Munich Security Conference. Russia uses this type of weaponry every day. “Why can’t we use them? It’s our territory,” he said. He understands the difficulties because of conventions. But this type of ammunition can help to withstand the attackers.

Kubrakov was alluding to the fact that the use of cluster munitions is outlawed under international law. Cluster munitions are rockets and bombs that burst in mid-air over the target, releasing many small explosive devices. Phosphorus munitions can cause severe burns and poisoning in humans.

Kubrakov also campaigned again for the delivery of fighter jets. The subject is difficult, but why not at least start training programs for Ukrainian pilots, he asked.

Poland shows willingness – under conditions

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki made it clear that his country would be ready to join other allies in supplying fighter jets to Ukraine. However, he named a “NATO decision” as a prerequisite for such a step. Asked whether Poland would also hand over US-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, he said Poland does not have that many aircraft of this type. But others could be delivered.

He did not comment on the type. According to data from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), in addition to the F-16, Poland also recently had Soviet-type MiG-29 and Su-22 combat aircraft.

Last March, the then Commander-in-Chief of the US Forces in Europe, Tod D. Wolters, said on the subject of fighter jet deliveries that the transfer of MiG-29s could be misunderstood by Moscow’s intelligence services and could result in an escalation between Russia and NATO result. This is a high-risk scenario, the four-star general said.

The minority leader in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, expressed himself significantly differently than Wolters on Friday evening. The Republican said he would give F-16s to Ukraine if he had the choice. The democratic US President Joe Biden and Chancellor Olaf Scholz have so far not wanted to deliver such weapon systems to Ukraine.

Just as with the tanks, one can responsibly say in advance “that the problem of the planes will be solved,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, according to the Kiev media in Munich. “It will take a little more time.” The discussion about the planes will be structured differently. “But that work has already begun,” Kuleba said.