Kyiv: Ahead of a Tuesday summit between the US and allies on delivering more arms to the war-torn Ukraine, Russia has warned of the “serious” prospect of World War III breaking out.
Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour has sparked an outpouring of support from Western nations, with arms being shipped in to assist the country in fighting Russian forces.
Western powers, on the other hand, have been wary of deepening their engagement for fear of inciting a clash with nuclear-armed Russia.
Sergei Lavrov, Moscow’s foreign minister, told Russian news agencies that the prospect of a third World War “is severe” and criticised Kyiv’s approach to the stalled peace talks.
“It is real, you can’t underestimate it,” Lavrov said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has been requesting heavy weapons from Ukraine’s Western allies for months, claiming that with greater firepower, his army might shift the tide of the war.
Despite Moscow’s protests, the appeals appear to be resonating now, with a slew of NATO members committing to contribute a variety of heavy weaponry and equipment.
Pentagon head Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Zelensky in Kyiv over the weekend and promised $700 million in additional help to Ukraine.
“The first step in winning is believing that you can win,” Austin told a group of journalists after meeting the Ukrainian leader.
“We believe that we can win — they can win — if they have the right equipment, the right support.”
On Tuesday, 40 countries will meet in Germany at the invitation of the US for a security meeting to discuss additional armaments for Ukraine as well as ensuring the country’s long-term security once the war is done.
Among the countries invited are US allies in Europe, as well as Australia and Japan, which are concerned that a Russian win in Ukraine could set a precedent and boost China’s territorial ambitions.
Finland and Sweden, both traditionally neutral countries who have been considering joining NATO in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are also invited.
As an independent media platform, we do not take advertisements from governments and corporate houses. It is you, our readers, who have supported us on our journey to do honest and unbiased journalism. Please contribute, so that we can continue to do the same in future.