US-Danish missile delivery could transform Bornholm into a “military bridgehead”, warns Russian ambassador

Warning comes as the the US secretary of defence confirms a Danish arms contribution to Ukraine that an expert describes as “large and sensational”

Vladimir Barbin, the Russian ambassador to Denmark, has warned that Danish-American military activity on Bornholm today risks transforming Denmark’s Baltic Sea island from a “peaceful haven into a potential military bridgehead”.

Speaking to TV2 ahead of the arrival of a transport plane laden with missiles on Bornholm today, Barbin contends that the exercise, albeit a simulation, is a provocation that will “increase tensions” in the Baltic Sea.

The military exercise, Defender-Europe 2022, will shed some light on long it might take to secure the maritime area around Bornholm. It will also send a strong signal to the Russians, the defence minister, Morten Bødskov, told TV2. 

“It’s a simulation, but also a signal. And the signal is deterrence. We are co-operating and standing shoulder to shoulder, and Putin must understand that,” he said.

US reveals details about Denmark’s latest arms donation to Ukraine
In related news, Bødskov has refused to go into further details about a new Danish arms delivery to Ukraine, which according to the US secretary of defence, Lloyd Austin, contains Harpoon missiles.

The consignment, revealed Austin yesterday, would help Ukraine to better defend the country’s coasts.

Anders Puck Nielsen, a military researcher at the Defence Academy at the Centre for Maritime Operation, called it a “large and sensational donation … a relatively long-range naval target missile, which is intended to shoot ships with”, according to DR.

“It is no secret that we donate weapons to Ukraine, and we also co-ordinate this with the USA and Ukraine, among others,” Bødskov told DR. “I do not want to go further into questions about specific donations.”

PM Mette Frederiksen was equally reticent, adding: “These are some of the weapons that Ukraine has called for, and which are quite important in the battle they are fighting.”