Heard in Europe

The newly-elected Danish government wants to ‘re-open’ dialogue with Russia, according to Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen.

In an interview with the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Jensen said:

“The direct dialogue with Russia, with regular meetings at different levels, is no longer happening. But if we want to tell them what we think, we of course need to have some kind of room where they can listen to us. Therefore, it is my intention to resuming an active dialogue with Russia,” Jensen said.

According to Jensen, Russia has asked him to meet its foreign minister, Sergej Lavrov, an invitation he will accept.

“Though Russia is a huge threat, we won’t be able to find a big enough crane to remove it. Russia will stay where it is and this is what we have to deal with,” the Danish foreign minister continued.

Danish and Russian interests clash when it comes to the Arctic and the Baltic Sea, and the situation in Ukraine. Denmark is also unhappy with Russian military jets continuously entering its airspace.
But Martin Lidegaard, Jensen’s predecessor, warned that a new approach to Russia could break down solidarity in the EU.

“The more ministers from the EU who bilaterally show up in Moscow, the more this will leave the impression that even though the EU is using a sharp rhetoric, many member states want a close relationship with Russia anyway. If we don’t stick together in the EU, Putin will win a huge victory,” Lidegaard said.

Photograph courtesy of Venstre/Flickr. Published under a Creative Common licence.


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