Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that if a third world war occurred, it would be “nuclear and destructive.”
Lavrov told Russian state-owned news agency RIA that Russia would face a “real danger” if Kyiv was to acquire nuclear weapons. Without providing any evidence, he claimed that Ukraine has been seeking to get such arms and therefore justified the Russian invasion, speaking to a Geneva disarmament conference on Tuesday.
The chilling prospects of a nuclear war increased last week when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s nuclear deterrence forces to be placed on the highest state of alert.
In a televised meeting with top Russian defense officials, Putin cited NATO’s aggressive rhetoric and “unlawful sanctions” as a ground for taking the extreme measure.
“Top officials in leading NATO countries have allowed themselves to make aggressive comments about our country, therefore I hereby order the Minister of Defense and the chief of the General Staff to place the Russian Army Deterrence Force on combat alert,” said the Russian president.
The Biden administration tried to play down Putin’s threats, claiming it was another manufactured threat from the Kremlin that corresponds with a wider pattern of strategic escalation.
CNN quoted an unnamed administration official saying, “at every step of this conflict Putin has manufactured threats to justify more aggressive actions – he was never under threat from Ukraine or from NATO, which is a defensive alliance that will not fight in Ukraine.”
When asked by a reporter on Monday as to whether Americans should worry about a nuclear war with Russia, U.S. President Joe Biden replied simply, “No.”
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.