Slovenia has accused Russia of using an old photo of smoke detectors in its alleged evidence of a "dirty bomb" in Ukraine. A photo published by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the online network Twitter comes from the Slovenian nuclear waste disposal authority ARAO and was taken in 2010, Dragan Barbutovski, adviser to the Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob, told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.
The photo was "misused without ARAO's knowledge," added Barbutovski.
The Russian government has been warning of an alleged radioactive bomb in Kiev's hands since the beginning of the week. Their use on Ukrainian territory should therefore be intended to discredit Moscow.
Western governments dismissed the allegations as implausible and interpreted them as a possible pretext for a further escalation of the war. Kyiv rejects the allegations.
He accompanied his statements with a picture published on Twitter, which showed, among other things, a container with the Slovenian word "Radioaktivno" on it and which, according to Russian information, contained nuclear waste.
The head of the Slovenian authority, Sandi Viršek, explained that this image was actually used by ARAO for explanation purposes in "presentations for specialist audiences and the general public". The container pictured would have contained "smoke detectors for general use" - and no radioactive material whatsoever.
"Radioactive waste in Slovenia is kept safe and under surveillance. It will not be used to build 'dirty bombs'," Viršek was quoted as saying by the government.
The former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia has been a member of the EU and NATO since 2004. The country operates a nuclear power plant in Krsko, near the Croatian border, and the nuclear waste generated there is kept safe, ARAO said.