Washington, Oct 24 (EFE).- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Monday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to reaffirm American support for Kyiv following Kremlin claims that Ukraine was preparing to detonate a dirty bomb on its territory.
“The secretary reaffirmed enduring US support for Ukraine in the face of continued Russian aggression, atrocities, and rhetoric surrounding (the) so-called ‘dirty bombs’ in Ukraine,” a State Department statement said.
“He noted our commitment to work with allies and partners to continue meeting Ukraine’s security assistance needs on the battlefield.”
Kuleba tweeted that he had a “detailed and candid discussion” with Blinken on how to counter Russia’s “nuclear blackmail.”
“Grateful for affirming the unfaltering US support whatever circumstances are. Euro-Atlantic solidarity with Ukraine is essential. We also focused on deliveries of air defense and ammo,” Kuleba wrote.
White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre Monday rejected the Russian claims, saying Moscow was preparing a pretext for escalating the war in Ukraine.
“We reject Russia’s transparently false allegation that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory,” said Jean-Pierre.
A dirty bomb does not possess the explosive power of a nuclear weapon. But it can cause radiological contamination and make target areas uninhabitable for some time.
Jean-Pierre recalled that Kuleba said had spoken by phone with the director general of the UN nuclear watchdog Rafael Grossi to invite a team of experts to inspect the Ukrainian facilities.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that the threat of the possible use of a dirty bomb by the Ukrainian authorities was “real.”
Peskov said Western “distrust” towards Moscow’s warnings about Ukraine’s “dirty bomb” did not mean that there was no such threat.
“Their distrust towards the information that was shared by the Russian side does not mean that the threat such a “dirty bomb” may be used ceases to exist. The threat is obvious,” Peskov said.
“It’s up to them to believe or not to believe.” EFE