Denmark’s defence minister says threat from Russia calls for more military spending

Ritzau/The Local
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Denmark’s defence minister says threat from Russia calls for more military spending
Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen says the growing threat from Russia has outpaced Denmark's existing military spending plan. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

The threat from Russia has increased so much that Denmark must review a major 2023 military spending agreement, Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said on Thursday.


Poulsen, who is also the leader of coalition government party the Liberals, argued that Denmark’s existing military funding, which was enshrined by parliament last year, should be revisited.

“When we see that the Russians completely deliberately and very quickly build up a very large production of military equipment which puts pressure on Europe and Nato in many ways, we have to react,” Poulsen said.

Last summer, parliament voted through a so-called forlig or treaty between parties, which commits 150 billion kroner to military spending until 2033.

READ ALSO: Denmark agrees massive defence spending to meet Nato target

But the deal will not have a tangible effect on military capacity until several years down the line. In the meantime, the level of threat has increased significantly, Poulsen said.

“There’s no doubt when you travel around and speak to colleagues like those from Poland, whom I spoke to yesterday, that you cannot exclude the possibility that the Russians have plans to potentially attack Nato countries within a number of years,” he said.


The minister is to bring up the subject of re-opening the spending plan with parliamentary colleagues on Friday.

He said he expects more formal discussions to take place on the matter later this month.

Although it will be difficult to increase the pace of military investments agreed in last summer’s treaty, he said it will not be impossible.

“I think you can do it if there’s a political will to do so, and I believe this broadly exist in parliament,” he said.


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