Lavrov warns West against underestimate risks of nuclear war over Ukraine

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Lavrov warns West against underestimate risks of nuclear war over Ukraine

Reuters foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned the West not to underestimate the risks of nuclear war over Ukraine and said he viewed Nato as being in essence engaged in a proxy war with Russia by providing Kyiv with weaponry.

In a wide-ranging interview on state television, Lavrov said that the core of any agreement to end the conflict in Ukraine would depend on the military situation on the ground.

Lavrov had been asked if the current situation would be comparable to the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, a low point in U.S.-Soviet relations.

Russia, Lavrov said, was doing a lot to uphold the principle of trying to prevent nuclear war at all costs.

We have a position on which we base everything. The risks are large, Lavrov said.

I wouldn't want to elevate those risks artificially. Russia's two-month old invasion of Ukraine, the largest attack on a European state since 1945, has left thousands dead or injured, reduced towns and cities to rubble and forced more than 5 million people to flee abroad.

Moscow calls its actions a special operation to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say that this is a false pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression by President Vladimir Putin.

Lavrov, who defended Moscow's actions, blamed Washington for the lack of dialogue.

Lavrov said that the United States has practically ceased all contacts simply because we were obliged to defend Russians in Ukraine, repeating the rationale for Moscow's invasion of its southern neighbor.

But he said Western supplies of sophisticated weapons, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, armored vehicles and advanced drones, were provocative measures intended to prolong the conflict rather than bring it to an end.

The weapons will be a legitimate target for Russian military action within the context of the special operation, Lavrov said.

Storage facilities in western Ukraine have been targeted by Russian forces more than once? He added. NATO is arming that proxy and is engaged in a war with Russia. He said that Kyiv authorities were not negotiating in good faith and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a former actor, was like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in playing to the public rather than addressing the task at hand negotiations.

They are similar in a way in their ability to play to the gallery. They imitate negotiations, for example, Lavrov said.