Denmark’s defense minister signaled increased urgency regarding risks posed by Russia after new data suggested Moscow’s capacity to produce military equipment has increased “tremendously,” according to an interview with Jyllands-Posten.

Troels Lund Poulsen cited an assessment based on new intelligence about the security threat, the newspaper said. Russia may be able to attack a member of the NATO defense bloc within three to five years, he was quoted as saying by the newspaper, in line with earlier estimates by western intelligence agencies.

The Danish defense minister, who emphasized that there’s no direct military threat to Denmark, made the comments after a meeting with European colleagues and a visit to Poland last week, where he said counterparts had conveyed similar worries.

The members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are increasingly concerned about Russia’s ability to rapidly ramp up weapons production as its economy has shifted to a war footing. Russia is expected to produce 3.5 million units of artillery ammunition this year, according to Estonian estimates. By contrast, Europe is expected to be able to produce around 1.4 million shells by the end of the year.

Other Nordic officials have in past weeks made statements highlighting the changed threat assessments. Sweden’s civil defense minister, Carl-Oskar Bohlin, said last month “there could be a war in Sweden” — a comment that caused widespread public furor in the largest Nordic country that’s on the verge of becoming the alliance’s 32 member.

Admiral Rob Bauer, who chairs NATO’s Military Committee, on Tuesday said the realization that the West has entered into a new era of collective defense needs to sink in on a societal level, speaking at a conference in Oslo.

“In many allied nations on the eastern flank, the Russian threat is felt very clear, but in countries with a different geographical position that has not happened yet,” Bauer said. “But that’s why so many military and political voices are speaking out now about the need to prepare.”

With assistance from Niclas Rolander and Natalia Drozdiak.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

(Per Palmkvist Knudsen/Wikimedia Commons)

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now