Will the UK go to war with Russia? Putin’s World War Three warning

China, Russia and Iran all pose threats, according to the defence secretary (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk) © Provided by Metro

With Vladimir Putin announcing he is willing to invade more European countries, the thought of World War Three has never seemed so clearer.

The Russian president said sending his troops into Nato countries would be ‘absolutely out of the question’ – but there was one exception.

He told Fox News host Tucker Carlson: ‘Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia.

‘Why? Because we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don’t have any interest.’

The Russian leader added: ‘It goes against common sense to get involved in some kind of a global war, and a global war will bring all humanity to the brink of destruction. It’s obvious.’

However, Putin made similar reassurances that he had no plans to launch an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in January 2022.

And it is not just Europe which is seeing growing tensions, with China and Iran being dubbed ‘stable and irrational’ by defence minister Grant Shapps.

The war in Israel also continues to rage on, with missile strikes in the Middle East being deployed on civilians.

General Sir Patrick Sanders believes there should be a ‘shift’ in the mindset of the public regarding their willingness to defend their country against foreign adversaries.

General Sanders’ remarks come nearly two years after he said Britain was facing a ‘1937 moment’ – a reference to the two years preceding the Second World War.

Here’s everything we know right now.

Will the UK go to war with Russia?

On February 24 Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will reach its two-year anniversary.

The situation on the ground has remained much of the same, with Ukraine’s army gradually retaining territory in recent counteroffensives.

leaked document from the German Ministry of Defence warned Russia could launch covert attacks on NATO territory as early as July this year, which could trigger Article 5 of the treaty, meaning all member states will mobilise to defend themselves.

The war is approaching its second anniversary (Picture: AFP)© Provided by Metro

In this situation, the UK and other NATO members would not be obliged to declare war on Russia – although it remains a possibility.

It’s likely that the UK would at least deploy troops, alongside other NATO countries, in such a scenario.

The UK has pledged almost £12 billion in support to Ukraine, as well as supplying tanks and strike missiles and providing training to Ukrainian troops.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently warned that ‘if Putin wins in Ukraine, he will not stop there’.

‘That is why Ukraine’s security is our security,’ he added.

What is NATO?

‘NATO’ stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The group was formed in 1949 and now has 31 members from Europe and North America.

Each member country has pledged to protect each other if attacked.

The current members are: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Sweden has submitted an application to join NATO.

31 countries at signed up as NATO members (Picture: Metro.co.uk)© Provided by Metro

What’s going on in the Middle East – and could it escalate?

International attention has been fixed on the Middle East since Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October, and Israel’s resulting bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

In response, the Houthis – a political militant group who control much of northern Yemen – kicked off a targeted campaign of drone and missile attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

Almost two months into the Houthi assaults, the UK and US launched military strikes on rebel targets on January 11.

US President Joe Biden warned that the US could retaliate further, saying: ‘We will make sure that we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behaviour along with our allies.’

The US and UK said the strikes were acts of ‘self-defence’ (Picture: Metro.co.uk)© Provided by Metro

Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has warned that the US stands ‘on the brink’ of WWIII after three American soldiers were killed in a drone strike in Jordan.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the actions of the Houthi rebels represented the ‘biggest attack on the Royal Navy for decades’.

He added that the UK launched strikes on two Houthi sites in ‘limited, necessary and proportionate self-defence’.

Yemenis recently trained by the Houthi movement hold their guns and chant slogans as they take part in an armed popular parade held in Sanaa’s Al-Sabeen Square (Picture: Getty Images)© Provided by Metro

In a joint statement from the US, the UK, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and South Korea said the ‘aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea’.

Iran has launched attacks on three countries in the Middle East in recent weeks, one of which killed two children in Pakistan.

In retaliation Pakistan hurled a volley of retaliatory missiles into Iran killing three women and four children.

Is China a threat to the UK?

Tensions between China and Taiwan have mounted in recent years. Today, Taiwan is self-governed, but it is neither officially independent from China nor united with it.

Earlier in January, Taiwanese voters elected Lai Ching-te as their new President. Lai previously served as vice president of the Democratic Progressive Party, which rejects China’s territorial claims in Taiwan.

Taiwan recently re-elected anti-Chinese president for unprecented third term (Picture: REUTERS)© Provided by Metro

While Lai said that he had an ‘important responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits’, he also cautioned that he is ‘determined to safeguard Taiwan from threats and intimidation from China’.

While it does not recognise Taiwan as a state, the US is one of the country’s key allies. It’s made a legal commitment to provide Taiwan with weapons if it needs to defend itself.

The UK government has said it has no plans to recognise Taiwan as an independent state.

However, the relationship between the two countries has strengthened in recent years, with the UK sending its warships on operations through the Taiwan Strait.

Speaking last year, former foreign secretary James Cleverly said that ‘no country could shield itself from the repercussions of a war in Taiwan’.

Source: Metro