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tv   Danish Defense Minister Discusses Support for Ukraine  CSPAN  September 9, 2022 7:14pm-8:03pm EDT

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>> good afternoon.
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>> good afternoon. i am the v vice chair from stressed strategy centered security and counsel on the atlantic council is my great pleasure to welcome his excellency ministry of defense of the kingdom of denmark the illegal war in ukraine put peace on the european continent trans-atlantic institutions such as nato andti european union are preparing for what the future may hold
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we have already seen incredible solidarity and unity from the trans-atlantic community providing much needed assistance to the brave, you courageous ukrainian people fighting against russian aggression and in bolstering the defense of europe against the russianin threat. and then to respond swiftly and decisively to the crisis just recently defense minister committed to provide one.4 billion euros that is the equivalent of one. $55 billion providing missing cash and equipment and training to boost the military capabilities this decision comes on the heels of other efforts to enhance fighting capacity including my offering assistance of ukrainian soldiers and finally has stepped up to bolster its own
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defenses. and with the maritime security among other core areas that would reinforce the nordic region additionally denmark decided recently to join the eu common security and defense policy highlighting the holistic approach to strengthenro european security. as we look toward the crucial months ahead of us i look forward to hearing the ministry of defense perspective on this inflection point for the war in ukraine for the trans-atlantic community as well as the danish perspective and response to a changing security order especially in the nordic baltic neighborhood to moderate today's discussion welcomeelighted to back national security reporter for "the wall street journal" and to our audience
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inc. you for joining us from all over the world. we are broadcasting live on zoom as well as the council's website and across our social media platforms. i encourage all of you to join the conversation and social media and share any questions you have. by way of introduction serving as a danish minister of defense since february of this year prior to the role was also the minister of taxation and minister of justice as a formal chairman on danish intelligence services and a member since 2001 the minister is an experienced leader in the entire trans-atlantic community. i would like to welcome him to
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the platform and we will hear from him first. he will make a statement and then followed by an interview. minister, thank you for joining us today. the floor is yours. >> thank you so much ambassador for those kind words and introduction also to the atlantic council thank you for inviting me here today the atlanticed council's work to promote the trans-atlantic community is more important than ever we are grateful and continue working with you. meeting at critical times and
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we are gathered here today so the ukrainian people can for the country survival we don't know when the next deadly missiles with their houses living in daily fear for their family members and friends putin has miscalculated. thinking that ukrainian people and that they would hesitate quickly be divided but we did not it is critical that we maintain support for ukraine and alsoma the stamina although the winter will be called and also that we maintain our focusan as entertainment continues while a terrible war is taking place putin must not
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be allowed to win or to show the world that breaking rules and must not be allowed to prevail on that basis. and with that with ukraine to bring the euro back and in the effort to break that system that we have carefully developed from the secondti world war into the growing russian empire. so it is a direct threat to
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democracy and prosperity. and to go back to the days of empire and military conquest we have been there for many years ago we cannot go back and we must not go back. that is the reason why it is so important for the west to continue to stand together that is why i salute ukraine russia roughly underestimated the skill of ukraine and through self-rule. and it is crucial we continue our active support for sanctions and political support. we need to protect our common values and 26 countries
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gathered in copenhagen at the copenhagen ukraine conference to discuss how best to secure and enhance long-term military assistance to ukraine. and to gather an alliance to have a strong will to support ukraine and with spreadsheets and we agreed that partners would consider increase funding with armament productions as well as training necessary to defend ukraine. with copenhagen we succeeded in raising one.$5 billion ine us dollars because ukraine is fighting a a just war.
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we also feel russia's aggression and in the baltic sea area especially those three baltic nations they deserve our for military support that's why having more than 1200 soldiers based in the baltic state and that is why with very short notice to support and is also seen in another way finland and sweden sufficient to join nato is historic and highly welcome it makes the alliance stronger in the us atlantic area more secure sweden will have a greater security.
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we have a long history of co- separation among the nordic countries and this will be fully integrated with nato to enhance our cooperation even further. i will meet with my colleagues in sweden to discuss the strategic importance of the baltic sea how exactly we can take that cooperation and further i met with my us secretary defense colleague as a tribute to a long-lasting friendship between our two countries with an alliance and a true friendship. during world war ii the united states made tremendous sacrifice for the freedom of europe and since then standing shoulder to shoulder against
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dictatorship and democracy during the cold war and to afghanistan but united states has been the most important ally. we need to continue to stand close together shoulder to shoulder for the challenges we are facing now democratic nations we are facing a long-term and systemic challenge to our way of life. that only from washington but china that is a challenge in some developments give me a course of optimism. and the strong unity to ukraine.
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and i am encouraged that denmark and europe are currentlye negotiating a bilateral defense operation agreement to benefit our common security and strengthen twthe bond. i like to take this opportunity to think the us for its leadership. it is evident to me that strong us leadership is necessary if we are to prevail for the present fundamental country. our values and freedom and democracy right now is taking place in ukraine that we continue and sustain our support to the ukrainian people our fight of my generation is crucial to maintain focus and that we in the west are ready to offer sacrifice they cannot be
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compared to the sacrifices ofe ukrainian people now and what they areth going through but for the survival and denmark is ready. thank you so much. >> it is my pleasure to host this from the atlantic council the denmark ministry of defense your excellency it is so great to squeeze in some time in your short and very busy schedule to chat with us you can ask questions i encourage you to send in your questions in a q&a tab or by tweeting our #. you just mentioned you a will be meeting was secretary of defense austin. tell us about the priorities
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or from denmark or from the us and how you 60 that security alliance in general. >> in general the cooperation with the united states is as strong as ever and we have been for generations and we are taking them to a new level and the ukrainians other issues are also on the agenda of how denmark can play a role not only from the united states but also nato and of course ukraine is at the top of the agenda those that have been heavily involved in donations and out the
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conference and copenhagen. and with a long-standing relationship. >> talk more about the security cooperation hearing from people including the biden administration from when wthe original conflict with russia began and what lessons were learned. from your perspective how are they evolving versus where they came from back then quick. no time to be naïve dealing with putin. lesson number one. if you look at the european union there is no division among the states within the european union and with that
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new structure and buttress every country more or less moving forward and a new structure meaning most host ednation support and more troops to the east and there is absolutely no discussion about that. >> there is so much discussion of the words garden and whether or not to consolidate any gains or territory and to capture all that territory.
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how are those conversations going with you and your counterparts in the alliance? do you see yourself as supporting ukraine as a very likely prolonged effort to recapture territory or is it about consolidating and making smaller gains incrementally over time? >> ukraine belongs to the ukrainian people. we cannot havee a europe where the military force on the other side of the border. we left that with the cold war and the berlin wall to be completely attacked not only on ukraine but all that we have worked for so ukraine
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belongs to ukrainians and ukrainian people and it's up to them to assign the future of their country. as long as they support them we support them and then to support. >> you mentioned in your remarks from copenhagen us can you characterize how those meetings went whether or not they delivered that a speedy and effective aid to ukraine and the types of weapons that the ukrainians need on the battlefield? >> when you look at the donations the first was spontaneousou nations of course
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everybody hadad a feeling that the brutality of it came so that first part of the donation we look at the support of the ukrainian so the second phase of donations is no doubt the american administration has taken steps and we would not be there where we are now. and used to the sport of the ukrainian fight we could not have done without the americans infrastructure is enormous. the political will is enormous
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we are add a space where the united states there's more question. so as i said with the fight of my generation we can't fight that fight without the americans the first phase was continuous and the third face what we could be to organize to give the ukrainians donations in the future and britain and the uk has a huge training initiative and these
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will be some of the key issues. so those in the midterm and the long-term and the copenhagen conference was organized with that focus. >> so to drill down on this more with this battle and with those forces evolving and number of news reports came out with the demons one —- with the disagreements because
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somewhere willing to send heavier long-range weapons at ukrainians were begging for and others were very reluctant to do so so there was concerns of there were cracks within the alliance. how have those issues been addressed cracks we were able to complement each other can you see them on board including denmark and then to supply more heavier weapons to answer the desperate needs right now? >> i don't see any cracks in the alliance i don't see that in the format certainly not in copenhagen or the european union when it comes to sanctions. of course there are discussions a donations there
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is war in europe in the support for the ukrainian people from the perspective but i don't see any cracks. on the contrary fighting more and more countries are bringing past one —- packages to the table we have one.5 billion us dollars so the willingness to get donations is growing so actually we sell one —- casino cracks. >> many of your counterparts also echo that the questions are coming in so what you see is a final outcome and how can they change the calculus?
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>> they are looking into a longer war and what is this? is this a trick and what he has done in 2014 or what he has done now over everything that we tried to establish to be even stronger together with the nato and the european union and he must not succeed that'sed why denmark is heavily involved in the baltic sea area and those that have the most soldiers in the baltic sea. i really think there is only one answer and there is no way
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that if we want to defend our values this is the way we do it now. >> and you said putin is calculated. maybe not as was intended but this captures 20 percent of the country andia the countries the power plant would be in danger but some say that is a success and now he is reinforcing the military with additional troops so how do you address that? maybe not the intendedd goal but still fairly successful in his eyes. >> he miscalculated heavily
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that nato is one example just outside the border is another example and it within a week and felt he would be welcomed by the ukrainians that none of this happens and then our friends are willing to support. don't forget the head of sanctions of the european union and the western economy. so as not only fair but it's right to say. >> i want to ask about nato and the concept strategy in madrid so some of those most
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significant and direct bets also concern for china for the first time. are there common themes youhb are hearing from allies talking about ukraine or russia and how do they address those in particular? >> first of all with sweden and finland would affect the people if they move nato to the north and denmark would be in the center of this tensions with russia in the baltic sea area but that optic is an area of more intentions in the future. so then at the center of that we haveer for generations discussed how we have a defense policy.
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but now we have the chance with the nato and also the european union and now they are participating fully in the defense policy. so the more places to play and develop so those that they are looking into is within the european union and on friday traveling to scotland and sweden to meet with my nordic colleagues to discuss that. >> and so glad you mentioned that that wasde still pending
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but how do you see that pending membership as part of the alliance in general and the practical alliance and how that will benefit quick. >> it will be a huge benefit. both for the nordic country but also for the nato alliance and especially the last ten or 15 years with defense policy have corporation and different corporations with countries outside and we actually have developed training facility programs and the baltic sea area we have annual training
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and exercises. so we are relatively well integrated already more and less it has been plug-and-play. >> and this is a question a distinguished fellow here at the council asks do you see in the northeastern flank a new division of wafer assuming summer allies quick. >> it will come to that it is developing around the closee relationship. it's only natural to help them restrengthen to the baltic sea area and can we do more there?
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but we must not forget the most important ally is the united states and in close cooperation with the united states there is no alternative to that but we can strengthen our cooperation and we will do that with the baltic sea area. >> not currently meeting that 2 percent but what was announced earlier this year would have denmark by 2033 and the referendum for the abolition which stipulates those who don't follow that they can take part it may be as a civilian but not those missions so how does moving that defense reservation go to the burden sharing quick. >> we are one of the founding
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nations of nato and with the baltic sea area and those key areas and also when it comes to the european union having focused on other issues like cyberdefense you must not forget about the balkans and it iss fair to say it would be natural with the united states focused on china and then europe must take a bigger responsibility for the allegiance to europe and the
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mediterranean area and of course as a matter of priority twith troops and how much can we be involved in other places? but we are ready to take part in other issues and that's why we have a referendum. there is all new freedom to play for those were taking responsibility. >> and your ministry does believe by 2033 that you will be able to meet those commitments you mention sending troops to certain places of that re- prioritization. >> we will be able to meet that 2 percent goal because it
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is a broader agreement and a fully financed agreement. but with many other defenses going to reformation or reorganization we were and afghanistan and in iraq and the main focus area is the baltic sea area and the investment that we have to make we have to respect that which means investments and capacities and the capability to react from what we see from
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putin and from the high north and we have to invest in that see you will see the investment concentrated on the fundamental structure because we are facing a new structure to react on and we are having an area on the baltic sea to focus more of our energy. >> with that national security news forig the security alliance what does that say about popular opinion in denmark what is this war what has it done to shift opinions about denmark's increased participation of military activity quick. >> and with two tins invasion
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of ukraine it was an issue in the referendum i more or less was in lead as minister of defense and the biggest just we ever have got for the referendum and then that set the agenda and that they could and then the future for the european security. >> and technology and innovation so where do you see u opportunity to collaborate when it comes to defense innovation quick.
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>> there is a possibility there but also from where we are now in washington cooperation between those industries and and with huge possibilities for american industry and for european industry and trying to develop the future. >> can you speak to the ukraine prospects and for what nato can do in the future? >> first of all it's important that we stick together that as i said in my introduction to keep supporting them they are
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the ones who decide their future that is their decision so we have to defend freedom right now. >> one of thene things the ukrainian officials tell me is that sort of bar into nato has dyalready fallen short when we empower putin down the line or any russian later that there is only soo much allies can do to help ukraine inevitably will be on their own no matter how much aid is poured into that what you say that those officials would say without nato membership? >> we must be aware of who we
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are and we cannot accept we must support ukraine it's up to them to decide their future and it's up for them to decide were they belong we will help them with an open door policy and open armed policy in the european union and the signal sent also from the european union but also from nato and from the alliance and the groups so but again what you see now is support for a
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nation fighting for freedom. >> seeing the fellow at the council ask how is that the responsibility across the north sea andan north atlantic? >> we are heavily involved outside the borders but mainly in the baltic sea area we were there before and it could be if there is a need for a stronger presence there from the european union it would have to be discussed if we could contribute to that but so far we are concentrating
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being in iraq in the baltice sea area and that will be our priority. >> focused on ukraine today 500 questions i can ask you but we will save that. thinking practically how the war might end you have to have two to declare victory and what does that look like without compromising ukraine security? >> it's not up to me to decide it is their country they are the ones that decide the future of their country. from all the other organizations supporting the european union that the future of ukraine as long as they
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want our support we will be there because their fight is our fight but we cannot go back to an era of history that military power was right we cannot go back to that so what is at stake is their freedom and our freedom but also the international rule-based order they will decide the future of their country. >> and the death of mikael gorbachev reminds us of the late eighties and that shift with president reagan. do you think we are in an era where the world order is shifting again?
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>> i think there are challenges to this it's important united states and europe stand together to defend that because there is only one way coming to the future of the world that is a common recognized border that's for the cold war and the fall of the berlin wall and there are others who are going against that. >> looking beyond the ukraine war what does nato need to do for strategy and policy to manage and enduring russia?at >> when it comes to nato to organize the eastern flank and
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then with nato and sweden and finland and you will see countries filling in the plans of the east that are now filling in the baltic sea in the baltic countries so we will see more activity because what we are facing is putin and it is strong unity and a willingness to support ukraine and willingness to stand by the baltic see countries and the baltic states and others that feel his pressure.
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>> interesting times indeed thank you for this discussion and to the atlantic council for hosting us have a great afternoon or evening. thank you so much. [applause] . . . .
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