Denmark to Russia: We won’t be intimidated

Denmark's PM and defence minister say that they are "not worried" about Moscow and are ready to "do what is necessary" to keep the Russians at bay.

Denmark to Russia: We won't be intimidated
PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Denmark would "keep our heads calm and the cockpit warm". Photo: Claus Bech/Scanpix
Despite Russian aircraft having made several encroachments into Danish and Nato airspace, including a simulated attack on the island of Bornholm, Danish leaders say they refuse to cower before Moscow. 
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told the Financial Times that Denmark is not overly concerned about Russian aggression. 
“In terms of our territory, we are not worried. We keep our heads calm and the cockpit warm,” she said. 
Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen also said Denmark would not hesitate to stand up to Russia. 
“We have Danish F16 fighter jets ready to scramble 24/7. They will be on their wings if needed,” Wammen told the Financial Times. 
“The Russians know we will do what is necessary,” he added. 
Last month, the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste – DDIS) released a national risk assessment that focused heavily on Russia. The report predicts “a new frozen European conflict” and says that the “Ukraine crisis will continue to strain relations between Russia and the West.”
The DDIS reported detailed an incident in June in which Russian military jets equipped with live missiles flew at a low altitude toward Bornholm before breaking off the route and turning back around. 
The military exercise took place while around 90,000 guests visited the island for Folkemødet, a political festival that gathers politicians, journalists, activists and over 600 different organisations for four days of events. 
Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany have all seen Russian military jets approach or encroach their air space in recent months. 

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Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes

Denmark's government on Friday decried two Russian aircraft violating Danish airspace and summoned   Moscow's ambassador over the incident.

Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes
Russian MiG fighter jets. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

The defence ministry in one NATO’s founding members said fighter jets had been scrambled to counter the incursion on Friday,  Ritzau news agency reported.

“Completely unacceptable that Russian planes violate Danish airspace, even twice in one day,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a post to Twitter.

Kofod added that the repeat violation made it look like a “deliberate action”.

“We are still examining the details, but I have already taken the initiative to summon the Russian ambassador for a talk at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs,” the foreign minister said.

The violations had occurred over the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, south of Sweden.

“It is very rare that we see this type of violation of Danish airspace, so two in the same day must be deemed to be serious,” Defence Minister Trine Bramsen told Ritzau.

According to the agency, Russia has repeatedly flown over Danish airspace and in August 2020, a Russian B52 bomber also flew over Bornholm.