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Denmark Braces for Military Buildup

Danish soldiers participate in  a military exercise.Danish soldiers participate in  a military exercise.

With fear of Russia mounting across Scandinavia, Danish Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen joined the Nordic panic chorus by warning that Denmark allegedly faced a “very serious” and “frightening threat” from Russia.

Hjort Frederiksen of the Liberal Party was primarily concerned about a double threat from Russia, which featured both physical and virtual dangers, Sputnik reported.

The “physical” threat pertained to Russian Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad Region, which could potentially reach the Danish capital city of Copenhagen.

With regard to the virtual dangers, Hjort Frederiksen claimed Denmark to be a likely target to threats stemming from Russian state-sponsored groups.

According to the minister, Denmark could face a “coordinated online effort” by Russia in an attempt to influence the democratic process in Denmark.

Needless to say, Hjort Frederiksen cited Russian hackers’ “disruption” of the US election, which ended in a way undesired for Denmark.

Hjort Frederiksen was in part reacting to the national risk assessment report issued by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service, which identified cyberthreats as one of the foremost threats against the Danish state.

In the wake of the “imminent” Russian threat, Hjort Frederiksen called for an immediate upgrade of the Danish military, especially considering US president-elect Donald Trump’s statements, according to which NATO member states must live up to the alliance’s spending requirements if they want to rely on the US for protection.

Hjort Frederiksen’s rant stirred criticism among Danish politicians. Danish People’s Party military spokesperson, Marie Krarup, brushed Frederiksen’s alarmism aside as “hysterical”, as Russia still was in the process of upgrading its military.

At present, Denmark only uses 1.17% of its GDP on defense, which is well below NATO’s spending target of 2%.

 

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