RIGA --- The Danish government expects to win backing for a substantial increase in defence spending next month, to counter Russia’s intensified military activity in eastern and northern Europe, the NATO-member’s prime minister said Monday.
Denmark last week deployed 200 troops to a UK-led NATO mission in Estonia aimed at deterring Russia from attacking the Baltic NATO members.
Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and backs separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine in a war that has killed more than 10,000 people.
“Russia’s behaviour has created an unpredictable and unstable security environment in the Baltic Sea region,” Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said at a joint news conference with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis on Monday in Riga.
“When I received (Vladimir) Putin in Copenhagen during my first term as prime minister back in 2010, everybody thought that it would be the beginning of a new and much better and much more friendly cooperation between Europe and Russia. And that we could decrease our military spending,” he said.
“But given the Russian aggression and what happened in Crimea, I think we simply have to be realistic about things and invest more in our security.” (end of excerpt)
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