Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov mentioned there’s a “serious” danger of World War 3, as he accused NATO of waging a proxy battle with Moscow.
In a TV interview with Russia’s Channel One, Lavrov invoked the opportunity of the Ukraine battle escalating right into a nuclear battle, regardless of the repeated insistence by the Kremlin that it could solely use standard weapons.
Kyiv dismissed Lavrov’s feedback as an try to “scare the world off” from backing Ukraine.
In the preamble to the primary query Lavrov confronted on “Bolshaya Igra” (Big Game), anchor Dmitry Simes referred to President Joe Biden’s feedback final month that it was “important to avoid a third world war” sparked by a confrontation between Moscow and NATO.
Lavrov was requested to match the hazard of a nuclear confrontation as we speak with what the world confronted through the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis standoff between the U.S. and the united states.
Lavrov mentioned Moscow and Washington ought to recommit to a pledge by former Russian and American leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan that “there can be no winners in a nuclear war.”
“The risks are very significant [of WW3]. I don’t want them artificially inflated,” Lavrov mentioned, in accordance with a transcript on the Russian overseas ministry web site. “The danger is serious, real. It cannot be underestimated.”
Weapons and Troops
He mentioned that regardless of the worldwide name that “in no case should a Third World War be allowed,” the calls for of Ukraine for NATO troops and the provision of weapons to Kyiv “adds fuel to the fire.”
It indicators a shift in rhetoric from Moscow in the previous couple of days amid fears that Vladimir Putin would possibly resort to tactical or different restricted nuclear weapons if his marketing campaign in Ukraine continued to face setbacks.
Last week, Lavrov appeared to again up feedback beforehand made by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov that Russia would use “conventional weapons only” within the battle.
But within the interview broadcast on Monday, Lavrov mentioned: “During the Cuban Missile Crisis there were not many written rules, but the rules of conduct were clear enough. Moscow understood how Washington was behaving. Washington understood how Moscow was behaving.
“Now there are few guidelines left,” Lavrov mentioned, referring to the expiration of agreements just like the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
He prompt that agreements, such because the 2010 New START treaty limiting strategic warheads and launchers, which was renewed till 2026 when Biden took workplace, have been key to curbing nuclear threats.
However, Daryl Kimball, government director of the Arms Control Association, mentioned that the Ukraine battle was an enormous impediment to an settlement to manage American and Russian strategic arsenals.
“The prospects for negotiating follow-on agreements from New START have gone way, way down,” Kimball informed Newsweek final week. “When dialogue can resume, no one knows, it certainly cannot resume while fighting continues.
In their Geneva summit in 2021, Biden and Vladimir Putin agreed to resume a strategic stability dialogue on nuclear weapons. Further talks were halted after Russia’s buildup of troops on the Ukraine border, before its full-scale invasion.
“Despite Putin’s battle in Ukraine it could stay within the U.S. and worldwide safety pursuits to take care of frequent sense limits on their arsenals,” Kimball said.
He added that while a nuclear conflict was “unlikely,” an “unintentional shootdown of a Russian fighter in Polish airspace” would be an example of a scenario which could “result in a widening of the battle” as well as the direct involvement of NATO.
“That in flip can escalate uncontrolled and in the end result in nuclear weapons getting used.”
Guterres in Moscow
Lavrov’s comments come as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday following failed diplomatic efforts so far.
The talks are expected to focus on the besieged city of Mariupol, where despite declaring a victory, Russian forces have failed to take the Azovstal steelworks.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kulebo said Lavrov’s comments on Monday were an attempt by Russia “to scare the world off supporting Ukraine.”
He tweeted that the “discuss of a ‘actual’ hazard of WWIII solely means Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine.”
Newsweek has contacted the Ukrainian foreign ministry for comment.