UK ‘ready to assist’ in resolving Ukraine conflict – defense secretary
The UK “stands ready to assist” in finding a resolution to the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
The statement followed a call between defense secretary Ben Wallace and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.
The British politician also indicated that London would like to “de-escalate this conflict,” while reiterating its support for Ukraine. He also claimed that neither Kiev nor the Western nations are seeking to escalate the ongoing hostilities.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Shoigu warned Wallace of a potential false-flag attack by Ukraine that could involve a “dirty bomb.” A so-called dirty bomb uses a conventional explosive combined with radioactive material. While it could not rival a nuclear warhead in terms of power, such a device could cause radioactive contamination within several kilometers of the explosion.
The British ministry only said Shoigu had “alleged that Ukraine was planning actions facilitated by Western countries, including the UK,” which were aimed at further escalation. Wallace refuted these “claims” and cautioned Shoigu against using them as a pretext for escalation on Russia’s part.
Earlier on Sunday, Shoigu expressed similar concerns in a phone call with the French defense chief, Sebastien Lecornu. A Sunday report by RIA news agency also claimed that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s administration was reportedly holding behind-the-scenes talks with British officials in a bid to secure the transfer of nuclear arms components to Kiev.
London has not directly commented on these claims so far. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba blasted what he called “Russian lies” about Kiev’s ‘dirty bomb’ plans by calling them “absurd” and “dangerous.”
“We neither have any ‘dirty bombs,’ nor plan to acquire any,” he said in a fiery tweet.