Following key members of the military alliance, NATO on Monday denied Russia’s claim that Ukraine is planning to use a dirty bomb in a plan to smear Moscow.
“Spoke with US Secretary of Defense (Lloyd J. Austin) and UK Secretary of Defense (Ben Wallece) about Russia’s false claim that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory,” Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general, said on Twitter.
“NATO Allies reject this allegation. Russia must not use it as a pretext for escalation. We remain steadfast in our support for Ukraine.”
Russia’s claims came during Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu’s calls with his counterparts in several Western countries, including Austin.
In a joint statement on Sunday, the US, France, and the UK firmly rejected Moscow’s claims.
The statement said that after speaking with Shoygu at his request, the defense ministers of the three nations all rejected “Russia’s transparently false allegations” that Kyiv will use the bomb as a provocation.
Ukraine invited experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to examine its facilities in light of Russia’s claim, the country’s top diplomat announced.
“In my call with IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi, I officially invited the IAEA to urgently send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine which Russia deceitfully claims to be developing a dirty bomb. He agreed. Unlike Russia, Ukraine has always been and remains transparent. We have nothing to hide,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.
A dirty bomb or radiological dispersal device is a type of speculative radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives.