03:15 GMT04 December 2020
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    While the nature-loving Nordic countries were not particularly amused by US President Donald Trump announcing the US withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen took his reproach farthest of all. Incidentally, his sharp criticism might indicate a turning point in Danish foreign politics.

    Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who previously emerged as a loyal US ally, surprisingly scathingly criticized US President Donald Trump, notoriously calling the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement a "wrong decision" in his speech given to mark Denmark's Constitution Day earlier this week, Danish Radio reported.

    In his historic speech, he called Trump's withdrawal a "saddening move" that jeopardized global leadership. Rasmussen, whose government previously came under fire for environmental cuts and the lowering of the nation's climate goals, then proceeded to claim Denmark to be one of the world's best countries and quoted Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, who once alleged that handling things would be much easier if "we all could be like Scandinavians."

    Rasmussen stressed that Denmark remained confident in the global trend towards green energy, as opposed to the US, which he claimed to have joined the "lonely" club outside the Paris Agreement, featuring Nicaragua and Syria. Rasmussen was positive that the development would continue within the USA regardless of Trump's personal views.

    "The US president may be the world's most powerful man, but not all decisions are made in the White House," the Danish prime minister said, venturing that the US misunderstood its own international interests and actually harmed its global leadership.

    Earlier this year, Lars Løkke Rasmussen became one of the first European leaders to meet Trump, so his anti-US tirade predictably raised eyebrows. According to Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen, head of the Department of Political Science at Copenhagen University, Rasmussen's diatribe constituted a "significant break" from Denmark's "consistently pro-US foreign policy." Vedby Rasmussen stressed the fact that Denmark has not questioned the US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

    "This is a significant break with the previously followed course when the prime minister slams the USA's actions and says Denmark does not want to be a part of it," Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen told Danish Radio.

    According to him, Løkke Rasmussen's harangue, which incidentally marked the first time a US president has been criticized in the Danish Constitution Day speech, might be also interpreted as a sign that Denmark was prepared to align itself closely to its EU peers, both in terms of foreign policy and security issues.

    "This is therefore a clear signal that after years of association with the US and Britain, Denmark is now beginning to turn elsewhere for security and access to markets," Vedby Rasmussen said.

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    climate change deal, Paris Agreement, Donald Trump, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, US, Denmark, Scandinavia
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