Russia’s defence minister, Rajnath Singh discuss Ukraine ‘dirty bomb’ threat

New Delhi:

Russia’s defence minister Sergey Shoigu on Wednesday held a phone call with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh and discussed Russia’s concerns about the possible use of a “dirty bomb” by Ukraine, the Russian embassy in New Delhi tweeted.

“Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with the Defence Minister of Russian Federation Mr Sergei Shoigu on October 26, 2022 at the latter’s request. During the telecon, both Ministers discussed bilateral defence cooperation as well as the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. Defence Minister Shoigu briefed the Raksha Mantri on the evolving situation in Ukraine, including his concerns about possible provocations through use of ‘dirty bomb’,” the Indian defence ministry said in a statement.

The statement added that Singh, however, reiterated India’s position on the need to pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy for an early resolution of the conflict. “He pointed out that the nuclear option should not be resorted to by any side as the prospect of the usage of nuclear or radiological weapons goes against the basic tenets of humanity,” it said.

Both Ministers agreed to remain in touch.

Shoigu made several phone calls since Sunday on the same topic with NATO defence ministers, reported news agency Reuters. Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected Russia’s allegation that Ukraine is preparing to use a radioactive “dirty bomb” and voiced concern that Moscow is using that as a pretext for a further escalation in the war.

The Kremlin said it would “vigorously” continue to make the case to the international community that it believed Ukraine intended to detonate a “dirty bomb” with radioactive contaminants.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Moscow wanted to prompt an active response from the international community.

Shoigu also made a call to his Chinese counterpart to convey Moscow’s warning.