Wednesday, March 25, 2015


"Tensions between Denmark and Russia were ratcheted up a notch on Saturday. Russia’s ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin, wrote in an opinion piece published by Jyllands-Posten that Denmark has made itself a target of a potential nuclear attack by joining Nato’s missile defence system. “I don’t think the Danes fully understand the consequences of what will happen if Denmark joins the American-controlled missile defence. If it happens, Danish war ships will become targets for Russian atomic missiles,” Vanin wrote. Denmark announced in August that it will will contribute at least one frigate to Nato’s defence system. At the time, Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen said that joining the missile defence system was not a move aimed at Russia. “That Denmark will join the missile defence system with radar capacity on one or more of our frigates is not an action that is targeted against Russia, but rather to protect us against rogues states, terrorist organisations and others that have the capacity to fire missiles at Europe and the US,” Wammen told Jyllands-Posten in August. Vanin’s op-ed made it clear that Russia doesn’t share that interpretation. “Denmark will become a part of the threat against Russia. It will be less peaceful and the relationship with Russia will be harmed. It is of course your decision – I want to simply remind you that it will cost you both money and security,” Vanin wrote. “At the same time, Russia has missiles that are guaranteed to break through future global missile defence systems,” he continued. Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard called Vanin’s statements 'unacceptable'".
"Russia delivers nuclear threat to Denmark". The Local DK: Denmark's news in English. 22 March 2015, in
"It seems fairly clear that plan [sic] of Soviet Government is to extort some agreement satisfactory to themselves from the Persian Government by threat, and indeed if necessary by use of force and to delay making any reply to United States Government or His Majesty's Government until they can say that matter has been settled with a Persian Government direct: meanwhile Persian Government is to be stopped from bringing matter up again before Security Council when this meets on March 25h....Persian Prime Minister....was obviously anxious to know what practical help United State Government and His Majesty's Government could give, if Soviet Government disregarded or flouted United Nations Organization procedure....Tarle [in Ivestiya] further asserts that Britain will not take military action and that we could not count upon American support. Confident as they seem on both scores the Soviet authorities will hardily be deterred from achieving their ends in North Persia by fear of unpleasant consequences in United Nations Organization. I interprete Tarle's article as a clear warning to us and above all to the Persians. We should therefore be prepared for the Russians to stick at nothing in North Persia".
Roberts [British chargé d'affaires in Moskva] to Foreign Office, on 13 March 1946. In: Documents on British Policy Overseas: Series I, Volume VII. Edited K.A.Hamilton & H.J. Yasamee. (1995), pp. 60-61.
The comments by the Russian ambassador to Denmark are of a piece with much of recent Russian activity in the Baltic Sea area. From aggressive submarine activity off the coast of Sweden to over-flights of many if not all of the Baltic States in the past six months. More recently, there has been a large-scale military build-up of Russian forces in the enclave of Königsberg 1. All this is in keeping with the recent turn in Russian foreign policy of the past twelve to fifteen months. A policy of brute force, threats, ultimatums, et cetera. Something out of the rule book of Nikita Khrushchev and Iosif Stalin. Even Tsarist Russia, which in many ways was hardily a laggard in the employment of the language of machtpolitik in its foreign relations, rarely if ever employed such brutal and crass language. With that being said what is to be done? Simply put: the Western powers must prepare themselves for any unexpected events by our Russian friends. Put forces on a higher state of alert and readiness, but at the very same time, not allow themselves to fall into the habit of provoking Moskva needlessly. Without ignoring the fact that in the case of Ukraine, Western policy should now aim to increase the pressure on Moskva by supplying large volumes of military assistance, both offensive and defensive to Kyiv. The sooner the better. The quicker that the West increases the costs of Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, the quicker that Russia will end its intervention in that poor and unfortunate land. The perspective herein is in fact that of the late, thoroughly unlamented Stalinist Foreign Minister, V. M. Molotov, who in his memoirs noted of the Russian pressure tactics in the Persian Crisis of 1946:
"In this matter we admittedly went to far, but something has been brewing in the South. You have to understand that there are limits to everything otherwise you can choke" 2.
1. Richard Milne, "Russia delivers nuclear warning to Denmark". The Financial Timnes. 22 March 2015, in
2. V. M. Molotov quoted in, Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics. Conversations with Felix Chuev. Edited and Translated by Albert Reiss. (1991), p. 8.


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