Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a news conference in Moscow on February 18. | Reuters

A third World War would involve nuclear weapons, says Russian foreign minister

Moscow would face a ‘real danger’ if Kyiv acquired nuclear weapons, Sergei Lavrov added.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that a third World War, if it were to occur, would be destructive as it would involve nuclear weapons, Reuters reported.

Lavrov said that if Ukraine were to acquire nuclear weapons, it would pose a “real danger” to Russia, Reuters reported, citing information from the RIA news agency.

At a disarmament meeting in Switzerland’s Geneva on Tuesday, Lavrov had said in a video address as well that Ukraine’s attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons were a threat that “needed a Russian response”.

The Russian minister had alleged that the regime of Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posed an increasing threat to neigbouring countries as well as global security because of Kyiv’s “dangerous games” to acquire nuclear weapons.

Lavrov claimed that Ukraine still possesses Soviet nuclear technologies as well as the means to deliver these weapons. “We cannot fail to respond to this real danger,” he added, according to Reuters.

Diplomats from other nations had walked out during Lavrov’s address to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which entered its seventh day on Wednesday.

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24 after widespread global apprehension of a war.

The capital Kyiv and the eastern city of Kharkiv have come under heavy attack displacing a million people within the country while the number of refugees fleeing to neighbouring nations, at last count, stood at over 6,60,000.

On Tuesday, a Karnataka student was killed in shelling in Kharkiv after he stepped out of the bunker where he had been taking shelter with other citizens stranded in the war-torn country.

Ukraine and Russia are likely to hold a second round of talks on Wednesday.