Recent statements by Russian ambassador Mikhail Vanin that Danish warships could become the target of Russian nukes, should the country participate in NATO’s missile defence, have drawn a sharp reaction from NATO.
"Denmark is a staunch NATO ally and NATO will defend all allies against any threat,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu told BT. “We have made it clear that NATO's missile defence is not directed against Russia or other countries, but is intended as defence against missile threats.”
Disturbing the peace
Lungescu said the tone and content of Vanin’s comments “erode confidence in Russia” and that besides being provocative, Vanin’s comments seemed ill-timed and somewhat confusing.
“The decision about the missile defence was made a long time ago, so we are surprised by the timing, tone and content of the opinion of Russia's ambassador to Denmark,” said Lungescu. "Such statements do not contribute to predictability, peace or stability."
The Russian government has repeatedly pointed to the construction of the NATO missile shield as being a threat to Russia. NATO maintains that the the shield is not directed against Russia.