In an interview with newspaper Politiken, Russia’s ambassador Mikhail Vanin lashed out against Denmark’s belligerent anti-Russian rhetoric, as well as the country’s contribution to NATO’s Baltic buildup, which hardly helps easing the tension between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty.
In the ensuing week, more anti-Russian opinions followed, none of which, however, managed to explain the importance of the hostile measures intended. Denmark still plans to contribute with 150 troops to NATO’s buildup in the Baltic Sea in order to parry an imaginary Russian threat.
In contrast to the obvious falling out with Russia, Denmark keeps talking nicely to Turkey, while continuing sending money to President Recep Erdogan, as well as supporting visa freedom with Turkey and Ankara’s EU membership prospects, Jesper Larsen of the newspaper Politiken argued.
“As for Saudi Arabia, they do not even need our money, so we send them our royal family,” Larsen wrote, alluding to the Danish Crown Prince and Princess’s controversial visit to Saudi Arabia at the end of February, which sparked a heated debate in Denmark. Many argued that such visits by the Danish royals supposedly legitimize the brutal Saudi tyranny.
In addition, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s plans to pay Turkey a courtesy visit at some point this year recently triggered another discussion on the consistency of Denmark’s foreign policy and its adherence to the ideals of democracy.
According to Jensen, it would be a relief if, instead of resorting to distracting arguments, Copenhagen simply admitted that Denmark’s foreign policy is being decided in Washington, which is why it is completely futile to enter into a dialogue with Russia. Jensen argued that it was as pointless to discuss whether or not Denmark should buy costly F-35 warplanes, because the controversial decision has already been made.
“In that event, Russia would be treated more respectfully, whereas Politiken’s readers would avoid constantly being taken for a ride,” Jensen wrote.
“Instead, we could just instead send the Royal Family on a visit to Russia, where I am confident they would be received with a warm handshake. The result will be far more constructive for Denmark than the current foreign policy line,” he argued.