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Danish PM criticizes Europe’s ‘naivety’ in confronting Russia’s aggression

by Kateryna Hodunova February 27, 2024 7:32 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen address a press conference in front of an F-16 fighter jet in the hangar of the Skrydstrup Airbase in Vojens, northern Denmark, on Aug. 20, 2023. (Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images)
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Europe must spend more on defense to deter Russia, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in an interview with Financial Times on Feb. 27.

She called Europe "naive," for not doing it sooner.

"We have been too naive, and in the western part of the world we have been too focused on getting richer, and therefore we also have built up dependencies on countries that we should not be dependent on – gas from Russia, and new technologies from China," she told Financial Times.

Several NATO commanders and other alliance leaders have warned in increasingly stark terms about the dangers of a direct war with Russia and the impact it could have across Europe.

EU leaders are also concerned about Russia targeting Moldova or Georgia in case of a victory in Ukraine.

According to Frederiksen, Europe must avoid past mistakes, recalling Denmark and other states cutting their military budgets since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s.

Denmark signs 10-year security agreement with Ukraine
“If we don’t stand together, Ukraine won’t stand, and potentially Europe won’t either,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.

Frederiksen said that limiting its social spending and taxes and scaling up its defense industry must be a top priority in confronting Russia, which is getting "more aggressive."

Denmark and Ukraine have signed a 10-year agreement on security cooperation. Denmark is the first non-G7 country to finalize the deal.

Denmark and the Netherlands also lead the allied efforts to provide Ukraine with the fourth-generation F-16 jets.

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