Russia has said that President Vladimir Puting doesn’t have pancreatic cancer, contrary to some reports.
A spokesperson for Putin said this week that regarding his health, “everything’s fine,” reported state-run RIA Novosti.
He also added that journalists “shouldn’t bank on it” and “bite your tongue” before saying anything.
Last week, the New York Post reported that Putin was getting treatment for pancreatic cancer, which is usually quite deadly.
“The rumors quickly spread and appeared in various western news outlets however none of the stories were able to substantiate the story with direct evidence,” said RIA Novosti.
“The doc had been trying various treatments, including steroid shots, which would explain Putin’s puffy appearance,” The Post’s Richard Johnson wrote. “But I’m told the physician quit recently, confiding that he was mistreated by Putin’s security detail,” he added.
Meanwhile, Putin has accused the US of essentially being a warmonger and said it started every war in the world that’s currently going on.
NATO has been on alert following a spike in Russian air force activity in Eastern Europe, the alliance’s new chief said Thursday.
Jens Stoltenberg said that while NATO is not back on Cold War terms with its former arch-enemy, recent Russian behavior has severely undermined the trust built up over decades.
Tensions have been running high between NATO and Russia since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in March. NATO pilots have conducted over 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft this year, about three times more than in 2013, the alliance’s military officials said Wednesday.
Speaking during a visit to Athens, Stoltenberg said the trans-Atlantic military alliance “remains vigilant and ready to respond” in view of this year’s tripling of Russian military flights along NATO’s eastern borders.
“We need to keep our forces ready, therefore we are investing in high readiness, new capabilities,” Stoltenberg told a press conference. “We are … increasing air policing as an answer to the increased air activities we are seeing from Russia.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin Thursday it was clear the Russians were closely watching European airspace, but that she had no concerns so far.
“Over the past few months, I have been seeing more intense activity when it comes to Russian armed forces. But at this point, I am not worried that there is major violation of our airspace,” Merkel said.
In Athens, Stoltenberg also urged Russia to remove its forces from Ukraine and warned against plans by pro-Russian separatists to hold local elections in eastern Ukraine. Russia denies having forces in Ukraine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.