World War 3 appears imminent with the continued military buildup among Baltic States, Russia, and NATO allies.
Eastern European countries decided to focus on security to deter “an increasingly antagonistic Russia,” Ben Wheatley told the Daily Signal. Wheatley is an honorary research fellow in the School of History at the University of East Anglia in the U.K.
Anxious over possible breakout of World War 3, countries in Europe also have beefed up their military assets.
The UK unveils the plan for troops buildup to bolster NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe. In addition, the country will deploy 800 personnel to Estonia, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon says.
The UK will be sending Royal Air Force Typhoon jets to Romania for up to four months in 2017.
Baltic States Military Spending Grows
The Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia increased their spending on military equipment from $210 million in 2014 to $390 million in 2016, according to a report from IHS Jane’s. IHS Jane is a British commercial defense analysis and intelligence firm.
Their total spending on military equipment is estimated to increase further to $670 million each year by 2018. And by 2020, their defense budget will reach $2.1 billion, more than double their 2005 budget. All three are members of NATO.
Another NATO member, Poland, doubled its military budget to $9.2 billion in 2016. Recently, the Polish government has passed a law creating the country’s Territorial Defense Forces as a separate branch of Polish Armed Forces.
Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz says Poland aims to increase the number of personnel from 3,000 in 2017 to 53,000 by 2019.
Russia Adds 10 Navy Warships in 2016
Russia is also expanding its military assets. The country’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) delivered four warships to the Russian navy in 2016.
The company will be turning over from six to eight more warships by the end of the year, according to USC head Alexei Rakhmanov. Eight warships are at the final stages of commissioning, Rakhmanov tells Rossiya-24 television.
Russia has doubled its military spending between 2004 and 2014. It will increase allocation for the military from 17.6 percent of total budget this year to 20.8 percent or $84.19 billion in 2017.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin downplays rumors of World War 3. He says they don’t have any plan to invade Europe.
Putin explains that Russia developed the new missile systems and other military equipment only as a security measure.