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Putin: World No Closer To Cold War-Style Nuclear Standoff

President Vladimir Putin told heads of global news agencies that Russia’s deployment of 40 additional nuclear ballistic missiles in response to the US military buildup in Europe does not mean that the world is at greater risk of a nuclear war.

RT reports: The Russian head of state held a late-night meeting with top executives from 12 foreign news agencies on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Most of the event was held behind closed doors and not recorded.

The extra deployment is necessary to protect Russia and is a response to a growing threat from the West, Putin explained as EFE, a Spanish news agency, later quoted him as saying. Pentagon is reportedly considering placing additional American heavy weapons, including artillery, in Europe. Washington says it is needed to protect its NATO allies from an aggressive Russia.

“Russia is not an aggressor and does not favor increasing the level of tension… but is obliged to respond to Western actions targeting Moscow,” EFE cited Putin as saying, without using direct quotes. The meeting was apparently held under so-called Chatham House rules, where participants’ comments cannot be reported directly without their express permission.

“The increase in belligerent rhetoric between Russia and the US does not mean the world is at greater risk of nuclear confrontation,” the agency added, summarizing the Russian leader’s response.