Kiev might be shelving its alleged ‘dirty bomb’ program after Russia exposed it, Moscow’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, claimed on Tuesday. He added that Ukraine may well have time to do this before the upcoming nuclear inspection.
Over the last few days, Russian officials, including Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, have been accusing Kiev of preparing a false-flag attack with the use of a ‘dirty bomb’, a device combining conventional explosives with radioactive material. Ukraine has categorically denied Moscow’s claims.
“If you read the Ukrainian Telegram channels, you would see that there is a lot of fuss in the Ukrainian ruling circles now because of the campaign that we have started to launch, and there are many signs that they are trying to sort of wind down this program,” Polyansky said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
In his opinion, Ukraine has enough time to scale back the ‘dirty bomb’ plans before the upcoming visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.
“They can come, but I am telling you that a ‘dirty bomb’ is not a very complex device,” Polyansky explained, adding that there is no guarantee that Kiev will not resume its alleged activity after the inspectors depart.
At the same time, the official claimed that the danger of Kiev using a ‘dirty bomb’ remains “very high,” and that Ukraine “has the opportunity” and “has every reason to use it.”
Earlier on Tuesday, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Russian mission’s head, Vassily Nebenzia, said that Moscow would consider the use of a ‘dirty bomb’ by Ukraine “an act of nuclear terrorism.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba earlier called the Russian allegations “as absurd as they are dangerous.” He also noted that “Russians often accuse others of what they plan themselves.”
On Tuesday, the minister revealed that Ukraine had invited IAEA inspectors to come and to “prove that Ukraine has neither any dirty bombs nor plans to develop them.”
“Good cooperation with IAEA and partners allows us to foil Russia’s ‘dirty bomb’ disinfo campaign,” Kuleba said.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, commenting on the matter, said that “all parties should avoid any actions that could lead to miscalculation and escalation of what’s already a devastating conflict.”
Meanwhile, the Pentagon claimed that Russia’s allegations against Ukraine were “transparently false.” NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said that the allies “reject the allegation” and believe that Russia “must not use it as a pretext” for further escalation.