The defense ministers of three western countries have rejected Russia’s allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory, as “transparently false.”
The “dirty bomb” allegation was made by Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu during phone calls that he initiated with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin and British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Sunday, without providing any basis to support it.
Dirty bomb is a weapon that combines conventional explosives laced with radioactive material such as uranium.
Shoigu made similar claims to French defense minister as well.
The Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States later issued a joint statement reiterating their steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression.
“Earlier today, the defense ministers of each of our countries spoke to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu at his request. Our countries made clear that we all reject Russia’s transparently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory. The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation. We further reject any pretext for escalation by Russia,” the statement says.
The Foreign Ministers also discussed their shared determination to continue supporting Ukraine with security, economic, and humanitarian assistance in the face of the ongoing Russian aggression.
Separately, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to reaffirm the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
Blinken also rejected Shoygu’s allegation that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb as “transparently false.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to this by saying that Russia itself could be preparing to carry out such an attack. Russia is “the source of everything dirty that can be imagined in this war,” according to him.
In the opinion of the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), it is a strategy by Moscow “to slow or suspend Western military aid to Ukraine and possibly weaken the NATO alliance in scare-mongering calls with several NATO defense ministers”.
The Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that Western states would help Ukraine conduct a false-flag WMD attack since the earliest stages of its invasion of Ukraine in February.
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