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S Jaishankar discusses bilateral relations, Ukraine conflict with UK Foreign Secretary

News Agencies | Updated on: 25 October 2022, 19:48 IST
James Cleverly and S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar on Tuesday recieved a call from UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly wherein both leaders discussed bilateral relations and the Ukraine conflict

"Received a call from UK Foreign Secretary @JamesCleverly. Discussed counter-terrorism, bilateral relations and the Ukraine conflict," tweeted Jaishankar.

The talks come against the backdrop of the United Nations Security Council which is set to hold a discussion over Ukraine's 'dirty bomb' threat.

"Great to speak with India's External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar today. We discussed the Russia-Ukraine crisis and that the UK will be challenging Russia's rhetoric and allegations during the UNSC today," tweeted Cleverly.

The US and other Western officials have dismissed Moscow's claim that Ukraine plans to use a so-called dirty bomb as a Russian false-flag operation, reported CNN.

Russia's claim this week that Ukraine could use a so-called "dirty bomb" on its own territory is seen by analysts as a new attempt to stoke fear of nuclear escalation among Kyiv's backers, if not a pure and simple distraction.

A "dirty bomb" is a conventional bomb laced with radioactive, biological or chemical materials disseminated in an explosion.

The term is often used interchangeably with radiological dispersal device (RDD), a bomb where radioactive materials are used.

In a joint statement, the US, France and Britain -- three of the other nuclear powers on the United Nations Security Council -- said Sunday that Russia's claims were "transparently false".

They and Kyiv suspect that Russia might use a dirty bomb in a "false flag" attack, possibly to justify the use of conventional nuclear weapons by Moscow as it finds itself on the back foot in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military claims Russian forces are preparing for a "potential retreat" near a key river in Kherson as Moscow-installed leaders in the southern region step up their evacuation efforts in response to Kyiv's advancing counteroffensive, reported CNN.

Meanwhile, the pro-Moscow administration said that five people were injured in a blast Tuesday in the Russian-held city of Melitopol in southern Ukraine.

"A car exploded near the ZaMedia media group building in Melitopol", damaging it and nearby residential homes, the local pro-Moscow administration said on Telegram.

"Five people were slightly injured, including employees of the media group. One was hospitalised," the administration said.

Photos showed a grey building block with windows ripped off and burning debris on the ground.

There was no official confirmation or denial by Ukraine that its forces were responsible for the explosion.

But the Telegram channel of the Ukrainian administration in exile showed photos from an explosion.

It added, "This is what the heating in the buildings of collaborators and propagandists should look like! And it will become hotter".

The International inspectors will visit two nuclear sites in Ukraine at Kyiv's request, the UN nuclear watchdog said. Ukraine's foreign minister said Kyiv has "nothing to hide."


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First published: 25 October 2022, 19:48 IST