NATO member Denmark plans to increase military spending in response to Russian missile deployments in the Baltic region that it perceives as a threat, its new defense minister said in an interview published on Friday.

 

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But Claus Hjort Frederiksen said that despite pressure from allies including incoming U.S. President Donald Trump, Denmark was not able to meet the NATO defense spending target of 2 percent of gross domestic product.

 

“We are under great pressure from both the current Obama administration and, from what we understand, the incoming president Trump to live up to the 2 percent target,” Frederiksen said. “I would say it is not a realistic (target to reach).”

 

His comments feed into a contentious debate about burden-sharing in NATO, fueled by Trump’s assertions that U.S. allies are not contributing enough for their own defense and Washington is paying a disproportionate amount. Denmark spent about 1.2 percent of GDP on defense in 2016.

 

Russia said in October that as part of routine drills it had moved ballistic nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles to its enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea and deployed its S-400 air missile defense system there.

 

“We can observe that the Russians now are deploying new missiles in Kaliningrad with a capability to reach Copenhagen.” This is of course a serious risk,” Frederiksen told daily newspaper Berlingske.

 

Denmark last month offered to deploy 200 troops to a UK-led NATO mission in Estonia, and has said it plans to join a Europe-based missile defense system.