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Russia Threatens Denmark With Nuclear Missiles If It Joins NATO Shield

Warships of the NATO Standing Maritime Group-2 take part in a military drill on the Black Sea.

Russia has threatened to target Danish warships with nuclear missiles if Copenhagen joins NATO's missile-defense system.

Russian Ambassador to Denmark Mikhail Vanin told the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on March 22 that in joining the missile-defense system it would "become a part of the threat against Russia...and relations with Russia will be damaged."

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said Vanin's statements were unacceptable and said "Russia knows very well that NATO's missile defense is not aimed at them."

NATO has said the missile shield is not directed against Russia but rather an attack from a country like Iran.

Denmark said in August it would add a radar capability on some warships for the missile shield, in which Poland and Romania are playing a large role.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said such statements by Vanin "do not inspire confidence or contribute to...peace or stability."

Vanin added that Russia has missiles that will be able to penetrate the proposed missile shield.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP