- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Moscow’s top diplomat is warning that NATO is risking nuclear war over its decision to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine in order to “wear down” the Russian army.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of fighting a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine as part of a plan to bully Russia on the international stage. It has resulted in East-West tensions more severe than during the Cuban missile crisis at the height of the Cold War, he said.

“The risks are very significant. I do not want the danger to be artificially inflated [but] it is serious, real. It cannot be underestimated,” Mr. Lavrov said, according to the Daily Mail which cited his interview on Monday with Russian state television.

During a press conference Monday in Poland after a surprise visit to Kyiv, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington wants to see Russia weakened to the point where it wouldn’t have the capability to “very quickly reproduce” the military hardware lost in fighting Ukrainian forces.

In an interview Monday with Times Radio, a senior British defense official hit back at Mr. Lavrov’s dire warnings about nuclear war, calling the comments “just noise.”

“There are lots of countries around the world that operate kits that they have imported from other countries. When those bits of kit are used, we tend not to blame the country that manufactured it, you blame the country that fired it,” said James Heappey, the UK’s armed forces minister. 

SEE ALSO: History As It Happens: Nuclear terror redux

Mr. Heappy told Times Radio that it is “completely legitimate” for Ukraine to strike targets in Russia in order to disrupt logistics centers supporting Moscow’s war against Kyiv.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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