MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has disagreed with British claims that depleted uranium munitions have no consequences, he said on the Rossiya-24 news channel on Saturday.
"Of course, it is not like that. The fact is that, of course, they are not defined as weapons of mass destruction. That’s true, but the core of a depleted uranium round (it can be made of different material, as it is used for armor-piercing purposes) still generates so-called radioactive dust and in this sense it certainly belongs to the most hazardous weapons," Putin said.
After those munitions bombarded Yugoslavia and Iraq, cancer rates surged among local citizens, the president recalled referring to expert data.
When touching upon the potential use of depleted uranium munitions in Ukraine, Putin pointed out that those who hatch plots for using these weapons in that country should view the people living in the combat zone as their citizens.
"How will they use them against people who are actually their own? I mean that these residues will dust, and among other things they will contaminate the crop areas in the regions where they will be used," Putin pointed out.
The president added that the issue of how it would affect Ukrainian rich black soil afterwards "requires a painstaking study on the part of those who initiate such steps that run counter to any normal logic and humanitarian law."
"This weapon can be classified as the most harmful and hazardous for humans, not only for combatants or for participants in combat action, but also for the environment and for people living in that territory," he said in an interview with journalist Pavel Zarubin.
"I must say that certainly Russia has something to respond. Without exaggeration, we have hundreds of thousands, namely hundreds of thousands of such shells. We are not using them now," the president said.