Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said that the threat of a nuclear war “should not be underestimated” as he accused NATO of engaging in a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, a warning that comes a day after US officials said Washington’s goal in the Ukraine conflict was to see Russia’s military capability be weakened.

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When asked about the risk of a third world war in an interview on Russian state televisionLavrov said Russia was doing everything to prevent nuclear war but those risks are now “considerable.”

Lavrov added that he was opposed to elevating those risks “artificially” but warned that the danger was “serious and real” and should not be underestimated.

The Russian foreign minister decried the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine and accused NATO of engaging in war with Russia “through a proxy and… arming that proxy.”

By providing weapons to Ukraine NATO was “pouring oil on the fire,” the top Russian diplomat said.

Russia will treat weapons supplied by Western countries as “a legitimate target,” Lavrov said, adding that Russian forces have targeted weapons warehouses in western Ukraine.


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