The remarks that a number of high-ranking Russian officials, including President Putin, made about the West proceeding to the use of weapons with a nuclear component were part of deliberate disinformation, a representative of the British Ministry of Defenсe said commenting on Moscow's reaction to the supplies of depleted uranium shells to Kyiv.
The British army has been using such munitions for decades, the department said.
"The British Army has used depleted uranium in its armour-piercing shells for decades. It is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities. Russia knows this but is deliberately trying to disinform.
"Independent research by scientists from groups such as the Royal Society has assessed that any impact to personal health and the environment from the use of depleted uranium munitions is likely to be low."
Earlier, British Deputy Defence Minister Annabelle Goldie said that London would deliver a batch of shells with depleted uranium to Ukraine as part of a military aid package.
"Alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine we will be providing ammunition, including armour piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium. Such rounds are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armoured vehicles," Goldie said.
Russian President Putin later said that Russia would have to respond accordingly to such an initiative.
Such munitions were used during the bombing of Yugoslavia, in Operation Desert Storm and the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The use of these projectiles has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. The key danger in this case is the dust emitted from the ammunition that decomposes over time. The dust may pollute the nearby environment or cause incidents of poisoning in humans.
Britain's supplies of depleted uranium shells to Kyiv will cause the conflict in Ukraine to escalate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, RIA Novosti reports.
“This is a step towards further escalation - a serious and qualitative buildup of escalation,” the diplomat stressed.
French President Emmanuel Macron does not exclude sending NATO troops to Ukraine for security in Europe and for Russia's defeat in the conflict. There is currently no consensus on the need to send NATO troops to the country