03:45 GMT +315 November 2019
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    Russian Envoy Warns Denmark Not to Join NATO Missile Shield

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    The Russian Ambassador to Denmark has warned that Copenhagen will face grave consequences if it joins the NATO missile defense shield.

    Danish warships may become targets for Russian nuclear missiles if Denmark decided to join the NATO missile defense shield, Russian Ambassador to Denmark Mikhail Vanin said, according to the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Poste.

    "I do not think that the Danes are fully aware of the consequences if Denmark joins the US-led missile defense shield. If that happens, Danish warships become targets for Russian nuclear missiles," Vanin said.

    He added that Denmark would become "part of the threat to Russia and [its] relations with Russia will be damaged."

    Vanin also cautioned that joining NATO's defense shield would be "Denmark’s decision", and that the country would "lose both money and security."

    Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard reacted angrily to what he described as "unacceptable" remarks.

    "Russia knows very well that NATO’s missile defense system is defensive. We disagree with Russia on many important things, but it is important that the tone between us remains as positive as possible," Lidegaard said.

    NATO has been building up a missile defense system in the Mediterranean Sea and in several European NATO member states since 2002; it is something that is seen as one of the main stumbling blocks in relations between the alliance and Russia.

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    Tags:
    NATO, targets, warships, missile defense system, Mikhail Vanin, Martin Lidegaard, Russia, Denmark
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