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Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod condemns the Russian offensive against Ukraine

On the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod strongly denounced the Russian invasion. In a press conference held at the Prime Minister’s Office, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said the following. (NOTE: Check against delivery.)


The images we are seeing from Ukraine right now are heartbreaking. They remind us of a time we thought was a thing of the past. This is one of the darkest days in Europe since the end of World War Two.

A full-blown Russian offensive against all of Ukraine is in full swing – and it is a stain on Russia’s history. The international community has made every – every – effort to find a peaceful, negotiated and diplomatic solution.

Ukraine has exhibited almost superhuman restraint in the face of countless Russian provocations. Nevertheless, the Russian leadership has chosen to attack Ukraine militarily. Allow me to say this very clearly: Russia bears full responsibility for the human suffering we are now witnessing – and this must have consequences.

Earlier today, the Russian ambassador was urgently summoned to talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. In these talks, we on the Danish side made clear – directly to the Russian government – that Denmark strongly condemns the invasion launched by Putin, and that Denmark emphatically denounces Russia’s disgraceful aggression against a free and independent European country.

We are working in close coordination with the United States and our other allies. The Danish Government will work to ensure that the EU imposes the most extensive sanctions Russia has ever seen. Just a few hours ago, we received the support of the Danish Parliament to pursue this aim.

The Prime Minister will meet with the EU’s other heads of state and government tonight, where sanctions will be at the top of the agenda. We will also be working in support of a rapid and firm EU reaction that can be felt. We must speak in a language that Putin understands.

Together with NATO, we are also prepared to take new measures for our own security. European security is under threat and we must of course respond accordingly.

Therefore, I have urgently convened a meeting of the Danish Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee later today, presumably already at 6:00 p.m. Here, the Government will secure the support of the Committee, ensuring that Denmark can honour our commitments to NATO.

There will be talk of concrete contributions to NATO in order to strengthen our collective defence and deterrence profile.

I can therefore state that the Government aims to submit a resolution for urgent consideration by the Danish Parliament this evening. Adoption of this resolution will effectuate a series of concrete contributions.

The situation requires that the Danish Parliament convene immediately to consider these contributions in a quick and orderly process – so that we are equipped for the new situation and to bear our share of responsibility for the common security of the Alliance. We have been in ongoing discussions about this with the parties represented in Parliament. I would like to express my thanks for the great seriousness and willingness to cooperate exhibited by the parties in this regard.

Tomorrow I expect to travel to Brussels to meet with my EU minister colleagues.

Lastly, allow me say a little about the situation for Danes still present in Ukraine and about the presence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

We have strongly implored Danes in Ukraine to leave the country in recent weeks, precisely because the situation had the potential to escalate drastically. Unfortunately, that is what we are now seeing. Fortunately, a great many Danes have already left.

At present, around 100 Danes remain in Ukraine. Most of these Danes are resident in Ukraine and wanted to remain in the country. Let me emphasise that these figures are a snapshot in time and are constantly changing.

Danes in Ukraine who desire assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark should contact the MFA’s Global Help Desk, where staff are standing by to answer telephone calls around the clock. However, I must also say that our options for action are now severely limited.

The Danish embassy in Kyiv is temporarily closed due to the security situation. Our diplomats who just a few days ago established a temporary mission in Lviv close to the Polish border have now left Ukraine.

The situation is critical and our ability to help people at present is severely limited by recent developments. We have been warning of this situation for many days now and, unfortunately, that is precisely the scenario we are witness to in these hours.