Russia Warns UK against Delivery of Depleted Uranium Rounds to Ukraine
- March, 22, 2023 - 11:08
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning to the UK against its planned delivery of depleted uranium armor-piercing tank rounds to Ukraine, saying that the weapons will be treated by Moscow as containing "nuclear components."
The statement was made during Putin's talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow on Tuesday. Putin added that if this happens, Russia will be forced to react accordingly, considering that the collective West has already started using weapons with a nuclear component, Russian media reported.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu echoed Putin's warning, stating that the move would bring the world yet another step closer to a nuclear disaster. This warning was issued on the sidelines of the Russia-China talks.
UK Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, Annabel Goldie, announced the looming delivery of DU rounds, saying that they are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles. However, critics have long been concerned about the toxicity and radioactivity of the depleted uranium material, which is used to make the hardened cores of armor-piercing rounds.
The UN has expressed alarm over the UK's plans, with Farhan Haq, a spokesman for Secretary General Antonio Guterres, stating that the international body has long voiced concerns about the consequences of DU use, as well as about those who supply such weaponry.
The use of depleted uranium munitions was previously acknowledged by NATO in a 2000 report, with the US-led bloc revealing that it had used some 10 metric tons of the material in Yugoslavia and 300 metric tons in Iraq.
The report acknowledged that the material poses a threat due to its toxicity in an aerosol form, but insisted that the DU was not particularly highly radioactive.