Russia Picks a New Fight—With Tiny Denmark

'Danish warships will be' nuclear targets if country joins NATO shield: ambassador
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2015 8:10 AM CDT
Russia Picks a New Fight—With Tiny Denmark
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a rally marking the one-year anniversary of the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, in Moscow, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.   (AP Photo/Maxim Shipenkov, Pool)

Denmark is poised to play a role in NATO's missile defense system, and Russia isn't happy about it. In August, Denmark said it would use its warships' radar to contribute to the shield, Reuters reports; now Russia has issued a threat over the decision. "If that happens, Danish warships will be targets for Russian nuclear missiles," Mikhail Vanin, Russia's ambassador to Denmark, said in an interview with a Danish paper. He warned of increasing tension between NATO and Russia and added that "Russia has missiles that certainly can penetrate the future global missile defense system," the Telegraph reports.

"I cannot imagine the Cold War coming back again, but there are some who feel that NATO is moving closer and closer to the Russian border and strengthening its position," Vanin said. "That creates insecurity in Russia." A NATO spokeswoman expressed surprise "at the timing, tone, and content of the statements." She said the organization had "made clear that NATO's ballistic missile defense is not directed at Russia or any country, but is meant to defend against missile threats." Comments like the ambassador's "do not inspire confidence or contribute to predictability, peace, or stability," she added. (More Russia stories.)

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