Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has warned of a possible nuclear catastrophe after accusing western countries of being “headed for military confrontation”.
Lavrov, a key ally of Vladimir Putin, accused western leaders of deliberately misrepresenting Russia's position during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
However, he said Russia remained committed to the principles of the five nuclear weapon states' Non-Proliferation Treaty.
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Lavrov said in a video address to the participants of the Moscow Non-proliferation Conference: "Given the Western efforts on deterring Russia, a serious threat comes from the USA and NATO towards real military confrontation with us.
“It is obvious that this threatens to be a direct collision of nuclear states with catastrophic consequences.”
Lavrov went on to accuse Ukraine's allies of "intentionally misrepresenting" warnings from Moscow by accusing Russia of producing threatening rhetoric.
“According to the statement of five countries on the unacceptability of a nuclear war, it is necessary to prevent any armed conflict between states that have nuclear weapons; and Russia is guided by this [principle]," he added.
Last month Lavrov trolled the world by releasing a video just minutes after reports suggested he had been hospitalised.
The 72-year-old appeared in shorts and a t-shirt relaxing by a hotel pool in Bali where he was attending the G-20 summit.
The video was recorded and shared online by his spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
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In it, Zakharova asks him: "Sergei Viktorovich [Lavrov], I am so awfully sorry, everyone is reporting you are hospitalised?"
He replies: “So… they’ve been writing about our President [Putin] being sick for the last 10 years. This is a game, and not a new game in politics."
His comments were in reference to rumours that Putin is suffering from cancer and Parkinson's disease.
The Governor of Bali had reported that Lavrov had been in hospital for a check-up after he arrived in Indonesia.
The Russian politician was not asked about the Governor's statement in his video, nor did he specifically deny the claims.
Zakharova went on to say: “I’m mainly reading Western journalists who report: ‘This is it, Lavrov is hospitalised’.”
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