UPDATES WITH REMARKS BY RUSSIAN DEFENSE, FOREIGN MINISTERS
By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Russia will respond “accordingly” if the West starts giving Ukraine “weapons with a nuclear component,” President Vladimir Putin warned on Tuesday.
“Looks like the West has really decided to fight with Russia ‘till the last Ukrainian’ – not just in words, but in deeds,” he said at a news conference in Moscow.
His remarks came after Annabel Goldie, minister of state for the British Defense Ministry, told lawmakers that along with Challenger 2 tanks, the UK will supply Ukraine with “ammunition including armor piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium.”
She said this type of ammunition was “highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles.”
“If this happens, Russia will have to react accordingly … the collective West is already beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component,” he added.
- ‘Fewer and fewer steps’ left to ‘a nuclear collision,’ Shoygu warns
Asked whether Britain's plans to supply Ukraine with radioactive shells bring closer a nuclear conflict, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said: "There is only one thing to say here. There are not so many steps. One more step has been passed, fewer and fewer steps remain."
Speaking in an interview with Russia's Rossiya 1 TV channel, Shoygu recalled that such shells had been used in Yugoslavia, and they had consequences even for those who used them to attack opponents, and the NATO soldiers suffered from "serious illnesses."
"This makes us think about further development of events, about how we can respond," he stressed.
Asked how the war in Ukraine may end, Shoygu said: "Any war ends in peace."
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: "I would not be surprised at such a development of events, but there is no doubt that it will end badly for them (Anglo-Saxons)."
According to him, "Anglo-Saxons undermine strategic stability throughout the world" in an attempt "to preserve this hegemony by all means."
The foreign minister also stressed that deliveries of ammunition with depleted uranium will be a violation of the international humanitarian legislation.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova urged the Ukrainians "to wake up," saying "their own masters poison them," specifying that she does not mean the Ukrainian authorities but the people.
"The Yugoslav scenario. These shells not only kill, but also infect the environment and cause cancer in people living on these lands.
"It is naive to believe that only those against whom all this will be used will become victims. In Yugoslavia, NATO soldiers, in particular Italians, suffered in the first turn. Then they tried for a long time to get compensation from NATO for the lost health. But their claims were denied," she wrote on Telegram.