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Denmark to command Nato fleet in north Atlantic

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Denmark to command Nato fleet in north Atlantic
Defence Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen. Photo: Ints Kalnins/Scanpix
09:14 CEST+02:00
Russian military build-up in the region means that Danish presence in the Baltic Sea is increasingly necessary, says defence minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen.

From the beginning of 2018, Denmark's navy will lead one of Nato's two standing fleets, the north Atlantic Standing Nato Maritime Group 1 fleet (SNMG1), reports news agency Ritzau.

Denmark's navy will therefore play a key role in an area seen as deserving of increasing attention by Nato.

Defence minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen told broadcaster DR during a visit on board frigate Peter Willemoes that the Baltic Sea had become an increasingly sensitive naval zone.

“The Baltic Sea is becoming a more and more important zone with the Russian escalation. There we can see that we need a stronger presence in our own region,” Frederiksen told DR Nyheder.

READ ALSO: Russian hackers harvested information from Danish armed forces: PET

Increased Russian presence along the borders of the Baltic countries and Poland and an upgrade of the country's missile systems in the Kaliningrad enclave forms the background for Nato's decision to increase its focus on the Baltic Sea along with the north Atlantic, where the Russian navy also sails, reports Ritzau.

This represents an increased security risk for Denmark, Frederiksen said.

“We can see a military build-up on the borders of the Baltic countries and Poland. It is important that we are seen to be present, so it is clear that there are consequences if anyone gets the idea of provocation,” the minister said.

READ ALSO: Russia lashes out at ‘hostile' Denmark

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