(NewsNation) — In a recent interview, President Joe Biden remarked the U.S. is running low on 155 mm artillery ammunitions, as Ukraine continues its counteroffensive against Russia.
“They’re running out of that ammunition and we’re low on it. And so what I finally did was took the recommendation of the Defense Department, to, not permanently, but to allow for, in this transition period, where we had more 155 weapons, the shells for Ukrainians, to provide them with something that has a very low dud rate,” Biden said in an interview on CNN.
The Biden administration has used presidential drawdown authority to send ammunition directly from America’s military stockpile to Ukraine, rather than having to wait and buy rounds from defense firms.
“We are not running out of ammunition ourselves. We are running out of the ability to provide artillery ammunition to Ukraine,” an administration official told NewsNation, adding that authorizing cluster munitions will ensure Ukraine is not left defenseless, while their own domestic production of ammunition ramps up.
This comes as the president was defending his decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine. The move elicited some mixed reactions as the cluster bomb is banned in more than 100 countries due to its potential danger to civilians.
A cluster bomb disperses several smaller bombs over a large area. If one of those smaller bombs fails to explode, it could kill or injure people up to years later.
The UK, Germany and Canada have all come out against Biden’s decision to send cluster munitions.
The president is meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London on Monday, ahead of the NATO summit later this week, where the decision could cause some added tension with America’s allies.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the U.S. has committed more than $41.3 billion and sent over 2,000 of the 155 mm artillery rounds.
Ukraine could be firing anywhere from 7,000 to 9,000 shells per day.