After two months of Russian offensive in Ukraine, a new warning about the escalation of the conflict comes from Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the danger of a nuclear World War III “is serious, it is real and should not be underestimated.” He did so after threatening Western countries to send weapons to Ukraine, claiming that these contingents are a “legitimate target” for Russia. The Ukrainian foreign spokesman, Dimitro Kuleba, has responded that Russia’s threatening rhetoric is because they feel “they are losing the battle”.
An underground guerrilla quietly takes to the streets of Russia to protest against the war
In an interview on Russian state television, Lavrov assured that “the danger of such a conflict [una guerra nuclear] it is serious, it is real and it should not be underestimated” and added that although Russia’s “principled position” is that this war would be “inadmissible”, there are “quite significant risks” that could spark a larger conflict.
The Russian foreign minister pointed to the shipment of weapons to Ukraine by its Western allies, and threatened to attack these contingents as “legitimate targets”.
Lavrov accused Zelenski of “provoking” an escalation in the conflict and assured that the shipment of weapons to kyiv “adds fuel to the fire”. “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy,” he added.
In his interview, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman charged directly against the US for sending weapons to Ukraine: “This is yet another example of the lack of cleanliness of the Americans in terms of international law and in terms of the introduction of their own rules. under the principle ‘I do what I please’.
The threat from Russia comes before the visit of the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, to the Ramstein military base (southwest Germany), where a meeting of defense ministers will take place to set “the framework” of military aid Ukraine in its war against Russia.
At the beginning of the meeting, Austin said that so far more than 30 allied countries, together with the United States, have announced aid to Ukraine worth more than 5 billion dollars.
The response from Ukraine came through Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba, who has assured that when Russia talks about the possibility of a Third World War breaking out, this time nuclear, it is because it feels that it is losing the battle in Ukraine.
“Russia loses the last hope of scaring the world out of supporting Ukraine. Hence there is talk of a ‘real’ danger of World War III. This means that Moscow feels defeat in Ukraine. Therefore, the world must redouble its support for Ukraine so that we prevail and safeguard European and global security,” Kuleba wrote on his Twitter account.
The statements by Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart come while the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, is in Moscow, where he is scheduled to meet with the Foreign Minister and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After his meeting, he will travel to Ukraine on Thursday, where he will also meet with Kuleba and with the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski.
Guterres’ objective is to unblock the negotiations and start some ceasefire commitment or guarantees so that the humanitarian corridors work correctly.
In the interview with the Russian channel, Lavrov assured that the peace talks will continue and that the objective is to reach “a treaty”, but warned that it will be based on “the current situation of military operations”, something that indicates that Moscow is seeking a position of strength before sitting down to negotiate again.
China calls for dialogue
Following Lavrov’s statements, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, has called for resolving the conflict through diplomatic channels.
“No one wants the Third World War, (…) it is necessary to encourage peace talks [entre Rusia y Ucrania]”, He has said in a briefing collected by the Russian agency TASS.
According to Wang Wenbin, the armed conflict in Ukraine should not be allowed to continue and pointed out the need to prevent the negative consequences that the conflict in Ukraine could have not only for Europe, but for the whole world.
“We hope that all parties involved will show fairness and avoid escalation. [del conflicto]”, he responded when asked about Lavrov’s words.