If the Third World War breaks out, it will be a nuclear and destructive war: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that if a  Third World War were to break out, it would involve nuclear weapons and be destructive.

He also said that Russia, which launched what it calls a special military operation against Ukraine last week, would face a "real danger" if Kyiv acquired nuclear weapons adding that Moscow would not allow it.

His comments come after he claimed Ukraine was seeking to obtain nuclear weapons.

Lavrov told a Geneva disarmament meeting on Tuesday: “Ukraine still has Soviet technologies and the means of delivery of such weapons.

“We cannot fail to respond to this real danger.”

His comments were ignored by diplomats from around the world who walked out in protest as Lavrov began to speak at the conference.

Diplomats from countries including Britain, United States and France were pictured filing out of the room when his pre-recorded video message to the U.N. Human Rights Council began to play.

Lavrov had been scheduled to appear at the meeting in person but his visit was cancelled.

A diplomatic source said he did not travel to the talks because his plane would not have been able to pass through airspace that the European Union has closed to Russian planes as part of sanctions imposed against President Putin, state-owned RIA news agency reported.

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