US, UK and France jointly reject Russia ‘dirty bomb’ claim

The United States, Britain and France jointly rejected Russian claims on Sunday that Ukraine was preparing to use a dirty bomb and warned Moscow against any excuse to escalate the conflict.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made the allegation of a possible dirty bomb attack during a series of phone conversations with Western defense chiefs earlier on Sunday.

“Our countries have made it clear that we all reject Russia’s blatantly false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory,” the US State Department said in a joint statement with the governments. British and French.

“The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation,” the statement continued. “We further reject any pretense of escalation by Russia.”

A so-called dirty bomb is designed to contaminate a large area with radioactive material, making it dangerous for civilians. This is not a nuclear explosion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has strongly denounced Moscow’s claims, calling the allegation a Russian ploy for such an attack in Moscow’s eight-month war against its pro-Western neighbor. “The world should react as harshly as possible,” he said.

“If Russia calls and says Ukraine is supposed to prepare something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,” Zelensky said in a video address on social media.

“Even the very Russian threat of nuclear weapons – and even more so against our country, which has renounced its nuclear arsenal… is a reason both for sanctions and for an even greater reinforcement of support for Ukraine. “, said Zelensky.

Shoigu conducted a series of telephone consultations with counterparts in Britain, France and Turkey, all NATO members, after speaking with Austin for the first time on Friday.

In these calls, Shoigu expressed “concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a ‘dirty bomb,'” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Shoigu and Austin spoke on Sunday, in what the Pentagon said was a Russian-requested follow-up call to their Friday call.

“Secretary Austin rejected any pretense for Russian escalation and reaffirmed the value of continued communication amid Russia’s illegal and unwarranted war on Ukraine,” a statement from the Secretary of State read later. Pentagon press, Pat Ryder.

When Shoigu and Austin spoke on Friday, it was only their second call since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Russia news

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