The threat from Russia, “intimidating”. Denmark runs the risk of state attack that can bring down hospitals and power plants. This statement was made by Klaus yort Fredriksen (Claus Hjort Frederiksen) in his first interview as Minister of defense. Russia plans to install missiles that can reach Copenhagen, Denmark therefore forced to drastically increase defense to work together with NATO to demonstrate a powerful resistance to Putin’s aggression, he said.
A month and a half ago Klaus yort Fredriksen for the first time entered the Ministry of defence as chief Executive of the armed forces of the country. He was well aware that Russia, with its aggressive behavior is the biggest threat and that the threat of terror increases.
But the threat picture that emerges in the mind of an experienced politician 69 years, is a picture of a completely different caliber.
After leaving the Ministry of Finance yort held talks with senior officials of the Ministry of defense, current Minister of defense, met with the ambassadors of other countries and leaders to get an idea of what threats is Denmark, which areas are a priority for the armed forces in the future.
In his first interview after assuming the post of defense Minister Klaus yort Fredriksen tells about the world and the pattern of threats that, in his opinion, subjected to Denmark.
And the picture is bleak.
“It looms very serious and frightening picture of the threats directly to Denmark”, say Klaus yort Fredriksen after receipt of all information.
So he calls for the Danes:
“We in Denmark should clearly understand that all of us in one form or another is in danger. And we have to act with this in mind,” he says.
The threat of Russia is scary
The concern of the Minister of defense is first and foremost the threat posed by Russia and Vladimir Putin. Aggressive and intimidating behaviour of Russia is so powerful that yort said about the return to the territorial defense during the cold war. He speaks of a return to a time when Denmark has to strengthen its armed forces with missiles and expand its participation in NATO to be able “to keep the Russians” from attack.
“I was born immediately after the Second world war. I grew up, lived, and was liable to military service during the cold war. I believe that we, after 1989, when the wall fell, now we live in safer world. Afraid to say that it is almost none and that the threat is back on European soil,” says Klaus yort Fredriksen.
The threat of Russia is primarily on two areas, said the Minister of defence.
This is the traditional direction, when a great military power, Russia has threatened to intervene and that is already evident in the annexation of Crimea and intervention in Eastern Ukraine. This threat, according to the Minister, rising.
“We can say that the Russian has now set in Kaliningrad a new missile system with a range of these missiles allows you to reach Copenhagen. It is certainly a serious risk,” says Klaus yort Fredriksen.
So he insists that Denmark has actively participated in a common European missile defence, adopted in 2012.
The attack by Russian hackers could cripple hospitals
The second area is a new growing threat in the form of cyber attacks. Exploration this week called this threat the biggest threat to Denmark.
Klaus yort said about the hacker attacks from different places in the world, but first and foremost, according to him, it is a Russian state-supported hacker groups threatening Denmark that would be “to interfere in our democratic processes.”
He cites the example of a hacker attack on the democratic party of the United States during the presidential election campaign. The Commission investigating this event, stated that Russia was directly in charge of the attack and influenced the elections by leaking information.
But yort calls as a very serious risk is also other more direct and devastating attacks on the foundations of our society.
“Russian state-sponsored hacking groups are ready to attack on hospitals, infrastructure and the supply of electricity, hacking computer systems, breaking the calls of doctors and medical services in the health system,” he says.
Just to “paralyze” our democracy:
“It’s a way to destabilize our country and democracy physical and effective way, it makes a strong and sharp requirement of our willingness to defend against such attacks. First of all we are talking about the Russian hacker groups who supported the state control the action here (in the country), which for me is a very frightening prospect. Because if it is really possible to paralyze the country, disseminating fear and insecurity, we are destroying the whole Foundation of democracy,” says Klaus yort Fredriksen.
“We feel great pressure”
Among other threats, on which to focus the armed forces, he calls the results of observations in the Arctic, where he, too, can “state the increased Russian military activity,” the protection of the EU external borders to stop the migration and terror. In the solution of the problem of terror increasingly need to be involved in the armed forces, for example, causing air strikes on ISIS (banned in Russia, approx. edition) in the middle East.
Therefore, the army should participate in international operations and to protect its own territory, he said.
At the same time, there is growing uncertainty due to the fact that the U.S. President will soon be calling Donald trump (Donald Trump).
Trump said that he will not guarantee us protection, the NATO countries, which do not make the desired contribution to the military system of the Alliance.
At the NATO meeting in Wales in 2014, the participants agreed that all countries aim to allocate such costs to the defense that they were at least 2% of GDP.
Of the 28 NATO countries this condition is performed only five countries, according to NATO over the past year, and Denmark has spent on defense in 2016, about 20 billion crowns, which is about 1,17% of GDP.
GNP Denmark to 2017, according to the Ministry of economy and internal Affairs, will be 2 trillion 97 billion crowns. If Denmark is going to spend on defense an amount corresponding to the requirements of NATO, the defense budget will increase by approximately 20 billion kroons, i.e. about two times.
“We feel great pressure from the current Obama administration, and also due to the fact that said future President trump the need to increase our defense spending in line with the intended purpose, i.e., to 2%,” he says.
Denmark will have to increase defense spending
So Yorta says, referring to the Danes that Denmark is forced to strengthen their defense.
During the spring or early summer he wants to take the initiative to allocate more money to the defense budget in 2017.
“All are in one form or another under threat, and if we have to protect ourselves, our common defence should be NATO and the containment. We have to show the necessary strength and to allocate the necessary money to keep the Russians from any attempts. This is important in our vision of the world,” he says.
He has not yet said exactly how much money, in his opinion, it is necessary to provide for the defense in CZK or % of the CWP.
Klaus Th. Fredriksen: the Percentage of our spending on defense of the CWP will be carefully monitored, so we have to do all this. And achievement of this goal very difficult.
Berlingske: the government’s plan for 2025 is allocated 800 million crowns on defence, police and research terror. Looks like Your initiative in this regard?
— It is very difficult to say it. Now we will draw up a new economic plan, and I’m no longer a Finance Minister, so I don’t have the latest revised figures. But we must clearly show the Danish people that we put in front of very specific risks, kotoryi cannot be ignored. Many other countries, in particular Germany and Sweden, are currently increasing their budgets.
— If the purpose of Denmark at the moment is to allocate 2% of GNP, that is, it’s also about 20 billion crowns. Is it possible in principle?
— I don’t think. But we’ll see.
— If it’s not real, what to do with the pressure that we, in Your words, experience from the United States and trump, to be under the protection of NATO?
— I think we should when discussing the future of the defense budget to give the defense more resources. We are forced to do in connection with existing threats. And the government also said this in his program. The problem of the current discussion is that if the need is established, you need to remember to find the money. I hope that the current Commission considering the needs of defence, will be able to find the funds that we are asking for defense.
— If impossible to reach 2%, why not just leave those investments in the defense that we have now?
— The fact that at the international level, recognized the existence of the growing risks. United States, which has faced some kind of cyber attack, carry very high costs. We are forced to contribute to neutralize the threats I have mentioned. The main principle of NATO is one for all and all for one. If someone attacked, we believe it is an attack on all. And here there is a requirement for contributions that NATO countries pay for guaranteed order security, and I think that the Danes are well aware that our insurance premium should be cheaper than the premiums of other countries.
“We thought that history has taught us”
Previously there was sharp criticism from, in particular, Niels Tennga (Niels Tønning), Chairman of the primary organization of the officers of Denmark, that policy or need to spend more on defence or to reduce requirements.
— Klaus yort, what makes You think that the armed forces can stop all threats?
— Currently, we have not yet prepared a draft of proposals for submission to the Commission, discussing defense spending. We are talking about the numerous processes in the economy. One of the issues that we need to do now is to analyze the defense budget, that is, what we can do to make it more efficient. I don’t mean the reduction of defense spending, but we must all be analyzed to understand how we are effective. From my past as Finance Minister, I know that the main condition for all state and private enterprises is the need all the time to ensure that the work was in accordance with their costs.
From January 1, 2018 it will be possible to see specific actions of Denmark in the new cold war against the Russians. Here 200 Danish soldiers will be deployed near the Russian border as part of NATO troops in the Baltic States.
It’s not because 200 Danish soldiers, we believe, can stop the Russian army. But the Russians must know that the territorial defence starts here, with this neighboring territory, and if they cross that line, it will enter into force, the total solidarity of NATO. This area is again, unfortunately, a priority. And we thought that history has taught us.