Denmark’s defense minister is warning Friday that “new knowledge” indicates Russia could attack a NATO country within the next three to five years.
Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen told the Jyllands-Posten newspaper that there is no direct threat against his country but “Russia’s capacity to produce military equipment has increased tremendously,” according to Reuters.
“It cannot be ruled out that within a three- to five-year period, Russia will test Article 5 and NATO’s solidarity. That was not NATO’s assessment in 2023,” Poulsen was quoted as saying. “This is new knowledge that is coming to the fore now.”
“Russia potentially has the will to do so. Now they can also have the ability to have a military capability earlier than we expected,” he reportedly added. “There is reason to be genuinely concerned.”
Russia is currently engaged in its war with Ukraine, which is now in its 716th day Friday.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said last month that NATO should be ready for a Russian attack within five to eight years, Reuters reports.
NATO says on its website that “Article 5 provides that if a NATO Ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked.”
In January, NATO launched its biggest military exercises in decades with around 90,000 personnel scheduled to take part in months of drills aimed at showing the alliance can defend all of its territory up to its border with Russia, top officers said at the time.
The exercises – dubbed Steadfast Defender 24 – “will show that NATO can conduct and sustain complex multi-domain operations over several months, across thousands of miles, from the High North to Central and Eastern Europe, and in any condition,” the 31-nation organization said.
Troops will be moving to and through Europe until the end of May in what NATO describes as “a simulated emerging conflict scenario with a near-peer adversary.” Under NATO’s new defense plans, its chief adversaries are Russia and terrorist organizations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.