It’s all right, folks, we’re not at war with Rus­sia in 2017

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

FEARS that Rus­sia and Nato are on a col­li­sion course for war next year have been dis­missed by De­fence Sec­re­tary Sir Michael Fal­lon.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence to the Com­mons De­fence Com­mit­tee, Sir Michael (be­low) in­sisted that a hot con­flict with Moscow was not likely in 2017.

Pressed about warn­ings by for­mer Nato deputy al­lied com­man­der in Europe, Gen­eral Sir Richard Shirreff, that the plot of his novel 2017 War With Rus­sia was plau­si­ble, Sir Michael said that was an ex­treme view.

He said: “There are a lot of peo­ple writ­ing books and try­ing to sell them, and his is a very good one.

“How­ever, I don’t agree that war with Rus­sia is likely next year. I think that is too ex­treme.

“We have seen much greater Rus­sian ag­gres­sion this year, and in pre­vi­ous years, in terms of long-range avi­a­tion, in terms of sub­ma­rine ac­tiv­ity, and the car­rier task group that sailed through our wa­ters, the role of Rus­sia in Syria, and else­where.

“But I don’t think that presages an open con­flict next year.

“Nato is wak­ing up to the chal­lenge.”

The De­fence Sec­re­tary in­sisted the de­ci­sion to send 800 Bri­tish troops to Es­to­nia next year was in­tended to cre­ate an “ear­lier trip­wire” and act as a de­ter­rent against pos­si­ble AF­TER a frosty start, Wed­nes­day will be fine with plenty of sun­shine. Colder with rain mov­ing in over east­ern coasts, and cloud in the north-west later. Highs of xxC in Lon­don, xxC in Cardiff, xxC in Manch­ester, xxC in Belfast and xxC in Ed­in­burgh. Fine in the south on Thurs­day, turn­ing wet­ter and windier else­where, in all ar­eas on Fri­day.

Highs of 12C in Lon­don, 11C in Cardiff, 9C in Manch­ester, 9C in Belfast and 8C in Ed­in­burgh.

OUT­LOOK: Cold & wet.

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