Russia’s top diplomat has taken aim at the Prince of Wales’s visit to Poland, using it to express Russia’s concerns about Britain’s support of Ukraine in the war.
Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman of the Russian foreign ministry, used the trip to raise concerns about Britain’s plans to supply Ukraine with depleted uranium shells for Challenger 2 tanks.
“I wonder if William Charles-ovich has brought depleted uranium ammunition for his troops,” she said, coining a patronymic for the Prince of Wales by using his father’s first name.
Vladimir Putin earlier this week expressed concern about the potential supplies, saying their use would be tantamount to wielding a “dirty” nuclear bomb.
Ms Zakharova made the comments on Thursday, the second day of Prince William’s surprise trip to Poland taken to “personally thank” British and Polish soldiers stationed 50 miles from the Ukrainian-Polish border for “defending our shared freedoms”.
Ms Zakharova, who has been the mouthpiece of Russia’s foreign policy since 2015, is known for her pithy remarks and language that is often more radical than that of senior Kremlin officials.
Her comments came two days after Putin lashed out at the British Government for its decision to send depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, describing it as “weapons with a nuclear component”.
Earlier on Thursday, the Prince met Andrzej Duda, Poland’s president, and expressed his thanks to the Polish people for their support of Ukraine.
A spokesman for the Prince of Wales said the conversation with the president was “warm and friendly” and “predominantly focused on the ongoing conflict with the war in Ukraine, particularly the impact on Polish society”.
They added that the Prince said he was very much looking forward to seeing the president and first lady at the Coronation and he thanked him for attending Elizabeth II’s funeral in September 2022.
Meanwhile, King Charles has revealed that he is determined to visit Ukraine “before I get too old”.
While opening the new European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Canary Wharf, the monarch said: “I must go again before I get too old. I would like the chance to see Ukraine again.”
On the one=year anniversary of the war in February, the King said it was “heartening” to see the UK and it’s allies “doing everything possible to help at this most difficult time”.
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