President Vladimir Putin triggered fears of World War 3 after announcing that Russia will increase its nuclear arsenal with more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles this year.
Yesterday, during the opening of the international military-technical forum in Kubinka, Moscow region, Putin said the 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles are capable of penetrating all existing and even the most advanced missile defenses.
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Putin also emphasized that Russia will continue its focus on massive rearmament program and modernization of its defense industry. His statement made many people wonder about his real intention. Many asked, Is Putin planning or preparing for a World War 3?
Escalating military tension
The United States and its Western allies accused Putin of escalating military tension in the world, which is already on the edge of cataclysm. Last month, it was reported that Russia is planning a Ukraine invasion after deploying hundreds of aircrafts and heavy military equipment at the Ukrainian border. Moscow denied the report.
At present, there is an increasing tension in Eastern Europe, which was prompted by the Ukraine crisis, and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Russia’s escalating aggression in the region prompted NATO to conduct massive military exercises and develop new military plans.
The ongoing and heightening military activities in Eastern Europe, Russia’s build of its armed forces; and its constant threat of aggression cause many to worry about a potential World War 3.
Take note that Putin’s Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin previously warned of the possibility of another world war. He said, “Tanks don’t need visas. Our nuclear shield is strong, it is so strong that I would say it is more powerful than anyone else’s. This is why Russia today can ensure its strategic security, not only going face to face with the USA, but also face to face with the whole Western coalition.”
Putin also previously stated, “Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words.” The country has approximately 4,500 nuclear warheads.
Putin’s plan to increase Russia’s nuclear arsenal is dangerous
In an interview with Daily Express, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg commented that Putin’s plan to increase Russia’s nuclear arsenal is dangerous. He added that his plan “confirmed the pattern and behavior of Russia over time.”
“We have seen Russia is investing more in defense in general and in its nuclear capability in particular. This nuclear sabre-rattling of Russia is unjustified, it’s destabilizing and it’s dangerous,” said Gen. Stoltenberg.
Putin announced Russia’s intention to boost its nuclear capabilities following reports that the Pentagon plans to station battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other heavy weapons—enough to equip as much as 5,000 soldiers in NATO member states in Eastern Europe.
NATO is pushing Russia into arms race
Yuri Yakubov, one of the senior generals of Putin said Russia has no option but to increase its troops and forces on the western flank if the United States would deploy heavy military equipment in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. He described such action as the “most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War,” Senior Russian General Yuri Yakubov commented on Monday.
Russia’s Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov recently commented that NATO is provoking Russia into an arms race. According to him, “A few days ago, reports started to turn up about certain [American] missiles put in a certain location and about certain ammunition depots in Eastern European countries and the Baltic. It looks like our colleagues from NATO member states are pushing us into an arms race.”
Putin clarifies that Russia does not pose threat to NATO
Jeffrey Somers, an associate professor of political economy and public policy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee noted that Putin clarified that Russia does not pose a threat to NATO.
“Vladimir Putin has been very, very careful to assure the West that this is not a reprise of Soviet expansionism that we see on the part of Russia’s military buildup, which from its perspective is to protect its interest, and to protect itself against what it sees as a reprise of the always contingent nature of history,” said Sommers.
He also emphasized that Russia and the United States are “far too powerful.” It is one of the reasons for both countries to find ways to develop bilateral cooperation. Sommers added that he didn’t think either Putin or U.S. Pres. Barack Obama is determined to have a conflict with each other in terms of their leadership.
Putin rejects idea of a World War 3
Putin emphasized that Russia has better things to do than starting World War 3 during an interview with Corriere della Serra, an Italian newspaper. According to him, people should not worry about Russia and people in their right might cannot imagine World War 3. He pointed out that only a sick person can imagine a major conflict between Russia and NATO.