Russia’s Lavrov: Threat of nuclear war ‘should not be underestimated’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov late on Monday said that the threat of nuclear war amid the war in Ukraine “should not be underestimated.”

In an interview with Russian-state media, Lavrov said that “the danger is serious.”

“It is real. It should not be underestimated,” Lavrov said of the nuclear threat, according to multiple reports.

Lavrov’s comments came shortly ahead of military leaders from 40 countries meeting at the United States’ Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss aiding Ukraine to defend itself from the Russian invasion. 

Lavrov said NATO countries have been “pouring oil on the fire” in their support of Ukraine with billions of dollars in aid and weapons.

Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba responded to Lavrov’s comments, saying Russia is losing and nuclear threats are their “last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine.”

“Russia loses last hope to scare the world off supporting Ukraine. Thus the talk of a ‘real’ danger of WWIII. This only means Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine. Therefore, the world must double down on supporting Ukraine so that we prevail and safeguard European and global security,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter

“It’s obviously unhelpful, not constructive, and certainly is not indicative of what a responsible [world power] ought to be doing in the public sphere,” Kirby said, according to Reuters. “A nuclear war cannot be won and it shouldn’t be fought. There’s no reason for the current conflict in Ukraine to get to that level at all.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the meeting in Germany that the U.S. and allies will continue to support Ukraine. 

“My Ukrainian friends: We know the burden that you all carry and we know, and you should know that all of us have your back,” Austin said.

He added the U.S. will “​​keep moving heaven and earth” to make sure the Ukrainian military has the tools necessary to combat Russian forces. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hit its third month, with Russia now focusing its assault on eastern and southern Ukraine.  

The Hill has reached out to the Department of Defense for comment.

Tags Dmytro Kuleba Dmytro Kuleba John Kirby Lloyd Austin Lloyd Austin nuclear war Russia-Ukraine war russian invasion of ukraine Sergey Lavrov Sergey Lavrov

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