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U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly countered Russian accusations that supplying Ukraine with ammunition containing depleted uranium is "nuclear escalation," Reuters reported on March 22.
"There is no nuclear escalation. The only country in the world that is talking about nuclear issues is Russia. There is no threat to Russia, this is purely about helping Ukraine defend itself," Cleverly said, as quoted by Reuters.
"It's worth making sure everyone understands that just because the word uranium is in the title of depleted uranium munitions, they are not nuclear munitions, they are purely conventional munitions," he added.
On March 20, the U.K. confirmed that it would supply Ukraine with such ammunition in addition to the Challenger 2 tanks it had pledged.
The U.K. Minister of State for Defense Annabel Goldie explained that ammunition containing depleted uranium would be "highly effective" against modern tanks and armored vehicles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the U.K.’s announcement on March 21, threatening that Moscow “would have to respond accordingly,” as quoted by Reuters.