Denmark: Alleged US spying has not hurt relationships with France, Germany
Denmark’s prime minister on Wednesday said that she did not believe the country’s relationship with France and Germany has been hurt by reports that the Danish foreign intelligence unit worked with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on its allies.
“I do not think it is correctly presented that there is a need to restore relations with either France or Germany,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told local news wire Ritzau.
“We have an ongoing dialogue, and so do we in the field of intelligence,” she added, according to The Associated Press.
Frederiksen also echoed a statement previously shared by the country’s defense minister in arguing that there “must be no systematic monitoring of allies.”
The AP reported that Frederiksen also said she does “not comment on stories about the intelligence work that appear via the media.”
The remarks come days after the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), citing conversations with nine unidentified sources familiar with the matter, reported that the NSA used Danish information to spy on officials in Sweden, Norway, France and Germany.
The officials reportedly included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who currently serves as president of Germany, and former German Chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück.
Steinbrück told DR this week that it would be hypocritical for Germany to express discontent over Denmark’s alleged spying, as the 2013 intelligence leak made by Edward Snowden revealed that the German intelligence service BND had spied on other countries both on its own and while working with the NSA.
French President Emmanuel Macron said following a virtual summit with Germany on Monday that the two nations were “seeking full clarity” on the reported actions by Danish intelligence officials.
“If the information is true,” the practices are “unacceptable between allies, and even less acceptable between European allies and partners,” Macron said in a statement, according to CNN.
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist responded to DR’s report by saying it “demanded full information,” with both Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen and French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune saying they take the allegations seriously.