Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov raised alarms on Monday, saying that the West’s intervention in the Russo-Ukrainian war poses tangible risks of nuclear war and an inevitable escalation towards World War III. He added what the United States and its allies are doing in support of Ukraine is essentially waging a proxy war.

In a series of state-run broadcasts, Lavrov talked about the ongoing situation in Ukraine and Moscow’s poor relationship with the West, comparable to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Lavrov stated that Russia was doing everything in its power to prevent a nuclear war but indicated that those nuclear risks are now considerable.

“This is our key position on which we base everything. The risks now are considerable,” Lavrov said. “I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.”

Lavrov then blamed Washington for allegedly cutting off communications with Moscow.

“The United States has practically ceased all contacts simply because we were obliged to defend Russians in Ukraine,” Lavrov said.

He mentioned that the West’s efforts to provide Ukraine with more sophisticated weapons – which now include a variety of heavy weaponry including donated T-72s, M-84s, 155mm howitzers, Mi-17 helicopters, an assorted number of armored vehicles, various drones including Phoenix Drones, and Switchblades, are only “pouring oil on the fire” and will only serve to prolong the war rather than bring it closer to a conclusion.

He also said that these weapons, and the facilities that will house them, will be legitimate targets for the Russian forces as they will directly contribute to the fighting on the ground.