The U.K. laughed off Russia’s latest threat after announcing that it will provide Ukraine with Challenger 2 tanks and munitions made with depleted uranium.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the decision to provide Ukraine with the technology “escalatory” because the munitions contain “nuclear components.” The munitions are made with byproducts of the uranium-enrichment process for nuclear bombs.
He said if the transfer of these DU munitions took place, “Russia will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component,” RT.com, the Russian outlet, reported.
Britain insisted that depleted uranium “is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.”
“The British Army has used depleted uranium in its armor-piercing shells for decades,” the Ministry of Defense said, according to the BBC. “Russia knows this, but is deliberately trying to disinform. Independent research by scientists from groups such as the Royal Society has assessed that any impact to personal health and the environment from the use of depleted uranium munitions is likely to be low.”
Sergey Shoigu, the Russian defense minister, also said, the world is another step closer to a nuclear disaster, RT reported.
“Another step has been taken, and there are fewer and fewer left,” he said.
The BBC reported that the U.S. announced Tuesday that it will not be sending any munitions with depleted uranium to Ukraine.
TRENDPOST: Again, there is a double standard and the same rules do not apply for the U.S. and U.K. Imagine for a moment that Russia announced that it will begin firing munitions with depleted uranium?
The U.S. is an expert on how to use depleted uranium in conflicts and employed the technology in the 1991 Gulf War, Kosovo in 1999, and in Iraq in 2003. It should be noted that the U.S. was crowned by the Asia Times as the World’s Heavyweight Champion in using DU ammunition.
Iraq (1991): 782,414
Iraq (2003): More than 300,000
The International Atomic Energy Agency has noted that use of these DU rounds could pose a radiation risk to individuals who handle fragments and who live nearby where these shells impacted, the BBC noted. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said the British “have lost their bearings” and said the munitions are “a step toward accelerating escalation.”
Britain defended its decision by stating that NATO countries have used these shells for decades and they had nothing to do with nuclear weapons.
James Cleverly, Britain’s foreign secretary, said the U.K.’s move is not a “nuclear escalation.”
“The only country in the world that is talking about nuclear issues is Russia,” he said, according to The New York Times.