World War III Update: US to send troops & tanks to Poland, Britain to deploy fighter jets to Romania in 2017; Putin says Russia is not going to attack anyone

By @vitthernandez on
Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, October 27, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Mikhail Klimentyev via Reuters

Amid the growing threat of World War III and both NATO and Russia building up its forces and armaments, Russian President Vladimir Putin denies the country plans to attack anyone. He made the assurance after deploying two small warships with long-range cruise missiles to the Baltic region.

The strengthening of Russian power in the area is in response to NATO beefing up its forces following the call by western defence ministers for the organization to make good its earlier commitment to create four groups in the area made up of 4,000 soldiers from western allies. On Wednesday, Britain said it would deploy fighter jets to Romania in 2017.

On the same day, the US vowed to send more soldiers, tanks and artillery to Poland. It is the largest military build-up on the Polish border with Russia since the Cold War, Sydney Morning Herald notes.

The new 4,000-strong force in eastern Europe and the Baltics is a measured response to the western estimate that Russia has 330,000 soldiers assigned to Russia’s western boundary near the capital city, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stolenberg says.

Meanwhile, Putin assures Russia will not attack anyone, Express reports. The Russian president told a gathering at the Black Sea resort of Sochi it was “stupid and unrealistic” to believe he wanted to attack another nation. “Russia values its independence and own identity. We don’t want world domination or expansion or confrontation.”

He says in his Valdai International Discussion Club talk before foreign policy experts that “We have seen some countries pushing globalisation serving only them, but not all countries.”

Putin disputes accusation that Russia is involved in hacking in the US elections. “It's much simpler to distract people with so-called Russian hackers, spies, and agents of influence. Does anyone really think that Russia could influence the American people's choice in any way? Is America a banana republic or what? America is a great power,” he stresses.