IAEA chief agrees to urgently send experts to Ukraine amid Russian allegations, says FM Kuleba
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi (Photo:Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)
DirectorGeneral of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has agreed to urgently send experts to peaceful nuclear facilities in Ukraine which Russia deceitfully claims to be developing a dirty bomb, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter on Oct. 24.
“In my call with Rafael Grossi I officially invited IAEA to urgently send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine which Russia deceitfully claims to be developing a dirty bomb. He agreed,” the minister tweeted.
“Unlike Russia, Ukraine has always been and remains transparent. We have nothing to hide.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Oct. 23 held phone talks with his French, British and Turkish counterparts. Shoigu expressed “concern” to all three colleagues that Ukraine is allegedly preparing false flag attacks with the use of a “dirty bomb” – referring to a nuclear weapon that functions more to spread radiation than to cause explosive damage.
Shoigu is also said to have discussed this issue with the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, however, the details of the conversation were not specified.
The UK’s Ministry of Defense also confirmed the conversation between Shoigu and the country’s defense minister, Ben Wallace. They noted that the phone call took place at the request of the Russian side. According to the ministry, Shoigu claimed that Ukraine was planning false flag operations with the help of Western countries, including the UK, to escalate the conflict. Wallace denied the claims and warned Shoigu that such accusations should not be used as a pretext for further escalation.
The Ukrainian government has denied Russia’s smears. Ukraine neither possesses the capability to create a dirty bomb, nor the desire to do so, and has shown no interest in nuclear weapons since its signing of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, where it traded nuclear weapons left on its territory following the collapse of the USSR for security guarantees from Russia and the United States.
In a joint statement released on Oct. 23, the governments of the United States, France and the United Kingdom rejected allegations made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that Ukraine was allegedly preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory.
The countries reiterated their steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression and remain committed to continue supporting Ukraine’s efforts to defend its territory for as long as it takes.
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