The UK is showing ?recklessness? with its plan to supply depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, Russia's Foreign Ministry says
The British government's plans to send depleted uranium shells to Kiev for use in the conflict with Moscow show that Western claims of caring about peace and the future of Ukraine are lies, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Radio Sputnik.
The statement by London is a sign of the "absolute recklessness, irresponsibility and impunity" of the US and Britain when it comes to international affairs, Zakharova insisted in a live interview on Wednesday.
She stressed that munitions containing depleted uranium are not only more powerful and have greater penetrating ability, but they also contaminate the soil with radiation, delivering lasting damage to the environment and affecting many generations of people living in the area.
"Everything that we hear from those countries [the US and UK] about peace, the settlement of the conflict, the future of Ukraine, the well-being of the Ukrainian people - it's all a lie, falsehood and absolute disorientation of the international community. In reality, the goal is completely different," Zakharova said.
After the UK announced plans to supply armor-piercing depleted uranium shells to the Kiev government, "there can't be any doubts that we're talking about is the strongly pronounced intention of the collective West, headed by the US and Britain, to simply destroy Ukraine to the end," she stressed.
On Monday, Annabel Goldie, the UK Minister of State for Defense, said that "alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armor-piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium." According to the official, such ammunition should be sent to Kiev because it is "highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles."
The announcement by Goldie is "yet another British provocation," which is aimed at escalating the conflict in Ukraine to a new level, Zakharova said.
It's no coincidence that it was made during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, which were focused on international stability and the Chinese peace initiative for Ukraine, she suggested.
The rounds containing depleted uranium are actually "weapons of mass destruction with a nuclear component," the spokeswoman insisted, adding that "the WMD issue is part of Anglo-Saxon logic of destabilizing the global international situation."
She recalled how Washington's unsubstantiated claims that the government of Saddam Hussein had been in possession of weapons of mass destruction became a pretext for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. She also noted that NATO had used munitions with depleted uranium during its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.
"Some 15 tons of depleted uranium 238" were dropped on Yugoslav territory back then, and Serbia is still suffering from the fallout, reporting record numbers of some forms of cancer, Zakharova added.
After the announcement of the deliveries of shells with depleted uranium to Ukraine, "we have no grounds anymore to doubt in principle who stands behind the activation, the launch of the conflict in Ukraine in all its phases. It is certainly the NATO-centric collective West, which is headed, in the first place, by the US and UK," she insisted.
Speaking about the issue on Tuesday, President Putin warned that if London follows through with its plans, then "Russia will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component."