COPENHAGEN, September 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Denmark’s decision to join NATO’s anti-missile defense system in Europe will not improve the Danish-Russian relations, but is likely to have a reverse effect, Danish retired Major General Karsten Jakob Moeller said in an ITAR-TASS interview on Friday.
On August 21, the Danish parliament passed a decision allowing Denmark to join NATO’s anti-missile defense system in Europe. Denmark will contribute one or several frigates equipped with modern radars. Many Danish politicians believe that Denmark’s decision was prompted by the Ukraine crisis.
Moeller, who is one of Denmark’s leading experts on Russia, said it had been wrong to force Ukraine to decide in favor or against the association agreement with the European Union. “Ukraine was a deeply split country already at that time. The inability by Brussels to understand Ukraine’s history had catastrophic consequences,” Moeller said, adding the decision to exclude Russia from EU-Ukraine negotiations had almost the same effect.
“Any well-informed person knows about close trade and economic ties, let alone cultural relations between the two countries. Russia has lawful interests in Ukraine that should be seriously taken into account,” the Danish expert said.
He hopes a peaceful solution to the crisis will be found soon. He has written many times that Russia is not a problem but part of a solution to the Ukraine crisis.
“There can be no durable peace, stability and economic progress in Ukraine without Russia,” Moeller said. He also called on the West to stop demonizing President Putin.
“He is a smart politician who defends Russia’s interests. I hope that our countries will restore their mutual relations one day. It is absolutely essential in our globalized world,” Moeller said.
In 1997, Major General Karsten Jakob Moeller commanded the Nordic-Polish Brigade (SFOR) in Bosnia. He was Denmark’s military attache in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and the Military Academy’s chief. He is the author of a book about modern Russia. He is a senior analyst at the Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS).