Denmark accuses Russia, China, Iran of espionage threat

Icebergs float in a fjord near the town of Narsaq, south Greenland, July 28, 2009. REUTERS / Bob Strong / File Photo

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COPENHAGEN, Jan. 13 (Reuters) – Denmark on Thursday warned of a growing threat of espionage from Russia, China, Iran and others, including in the arctic region where world powers collide. scramble for resources and sea routes.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service said there had been numerous examples of attempted espionage in Denmark, whose active global role had helped make it a tempting target.

“The threat of foreign intelligence activities against Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands has increased in recent years,” Anders Henriksen, head of counterintelligence at the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, said in a report.

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Greenland and the Faroe Islands are sovereign territories of the Kingdom of Denmark and also members of the Arctic Council Forum. Copenhagen handles most of their foreign and security affairs.

The report cited a 2019 incident of an allegedly forged letter from Greenland’s foreign minister to a US senator saying an independence referendum was in sight.

“It is very likely that the letter was fabricated and shared on the Internet by Russian agents of influence, who wanted to sow confusion and possible conflict between Denmark, the United States and Greenland,” he said. declared.

RUSSIAN DISCLAIMER

In an email to Reuters, Russian Ambassador to Denmark Vladimir Barbin dismissed the allegation about the letter as false.

He linked the broader accusations against Russia to a spy scandal in which the United States allegedly used a partnership with Denmark’s foreign intelligence unit to spy on senior officials from neighboring countries, including the former German Chancellor. Angela Merkel. Read more

Barbin said the allegations “should be viewed only as an operation to cover up the scandal, as Danish authorities provided the US National Security Agency with access to communications cables crossing Danish territory.”

The Arctic has growing geopolitical importance, with Russia, China and the United States competing for access to natural resources, sea lanes, research, and strategic military areas.

The Danish report also said foreign intelligence services – including China, Russia and Iran – were trying to reach out to students, researchers and companies to exploit information about technology and research. Danish.

Reuters discovered in November that a Chinese professor at the University of Copenhagen had conducted genetic research with the Chinese military without revealing the link. Read more

Thursday’s report said that the active international role of NATO member Denmark, the openness of its society and its high levels of technological knowledge have all served to make it “an attractive target for foreign intelligence activities. “.

Neither the Chinese nor Iranian embassies responded to requests for comment.

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Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, additional reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Gareth Jones

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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