Denmark–Soviet Union relations

Denmark–Soviet Union relations
Denmark-Soviet relations
Map indicating locations of Denmark and Soviet Union


Soviet Union

Denmark–Soviet Union relations refers to the historical relations between Denmark and Soviet Union. Denmark had an embassy in Moscow,[1][2] and the Soviet Union had an embassy in Copenhagen.[3] Diplomatic relations were described as "excellent".[4] Denmark recognized de jure the Soviet Union on 18 June 1924.[5]

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc occasionally named Denmark as the "weak links in the chain."[6]

Denmark never recognized the Soviet annexation of Estonia,[7] Latvia[8] and Lithuania.[9]



Vladimir Lenin era (1922–1924)

Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin visited for the first time Denmark in 1907, for a party meeting of Russian socialists in exile. Denmark deemed the meeting for illegal and gave Lenin 12 hours to leave Denmark. In 1910, Lenin visited Denmark again, for the Eighth International Socialist Congress. Lenin later commented on the Danish socialism and the Danish Prime Minister Thorvald Stauning; "Stauning was a quasi-socialist as well as one of the most stingy and mean-spirited class snobs he had ever met."[10][11]

World War II and the Joseph Stalin era (1939–1952)

During the Winter War in Finland from 30 November 1939 to 13 March 1940. 1,010 Danes including Christian Frederik von Schalburg traveled to Finland to fight the Russians.[12] Denmark also sent humanitarian aid to Finland.[13] On 10 April 1940, Soviet troops occupied the Danish island of Bornholm, to fight the German soldiers.[14] On 5 April 1946, the Soviet Soldiers left Bornholm.[15]

After the assault on the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, Denmark joined the Anti-Comintern Pact, the Communist Party was banned in Denmark. As a result, many Communists were found among the first members of the Danish resistance movement.[16]

On 7 July 1952, Denmark handed over the Danish-built tanker Apsheron to the Soviet Union. The decision faced protests in the United States. The government of the United States threatened to cut of aid to Denmark.[17] On 26 July 1952, American President Harry S. Truman ordered the military, economic and financial aid to Denmark to be continued, despite the delivery of the Danish tank to the Soviet Union.[18]

Nikita Khrushchev era (1953–1964)

From 16 June to 21 June 1964, Nikita Khrushchev visited Denmark.[19] During his trip to Denmark, Nikita Khrushchev commented Denmark; "I have simply no words to describe the pleasure I felt observing the state of agriculture in Denmark."[20]

The announcement by the Soviets of the intention to launch an Earth satellite during the IGY. This photo was taken at the Legation of the Soviet Union in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the 6th International Astronautical Congress, August 1955, shortly after the Americans announced their intentions to launch a satellite.[21]

Premier of the Soviet Union Nikolai Bulganin's policy against Denmark was to influence Denmark to limit their policy and commitments in NATO.[22] In March 1957, Nikolai Bulganin warned Denmark that if they use their bases against the Soviet Union it would be suicide for Denmark.[23] Bulganin said "If war is opened against the U.S.S.R., the annihilating power of modern weapons is so great it would be tantamount to suicide for foreign countries the size of Denmark. [sic]"[24]

Leonid Brezhnev era (1964–1982)

After the Martial law in Poland in 1981, Denmark economicly sanctioned Poland and the Soviet Union. In March 1983, Denmark was the first country in the European Economic Community, to drop the sanctions against the Soviet Union. The Folketing voted 78-68 against a bill which would have reimposed sanctioned.[25]

Mikhail Gorbachev era (1985–1991)

On 1 October 1987, Gorbachev praised Denmark for not allowing foreign military bases and nuclear weapons on its soil.[26]

Economic relations

In 1986, Danish export to the Soviet Union amounted 1496,3 million DKK. In 1978, the export fell to 818,7 million DKK. Soviet export amounted 1660,8 million DKK in 1986, and in 1987, 1440,4 million DKK.[27]


On 24 October 1969, Denmark and the Soviet Union signed a trade agreement.[28]


  1. ^ "Protest from USSR Government to Danish Government". Minneapolis. 30 July 1958. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Current Digest of the Russian Press, The (formerly The Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press), No. 25, Vol.10, July 30, 1958, page(s): 5-6". 
  3. ^ "[Denmark under the Cold War]" (in Danish) Danmark under den kolde krig. 83. Danish Institute for International Studies. pp. 28. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  4. ^ International affairs, Bulletin 7–12. Vsesoi͡u͡znoe obshchestvo po rasprostranenii͡u͡ politicheskikh i nauchnykh znaniĭ, Izdatelʹstvo "Znanie.". 1991. "There are those who fear that Denmark, among others, might jeopardise its otherwise excellent relations with the Soviet Union by supporting the Baltic States. I believe this is not the right attitude to espouse." 
  5. ^ "Danmarks anerkendelse de jure af Sovjetunionen i juni 1924". Tidskrift. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Denmark During the Cold War". Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Denmark recognised Independent Estonia 90 years ago.". Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Daily report: Soviet Union, Bulletin 52–56. The Service. 1991. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Roger E. Kanet,Deborah Nutter Miner,Tamara J. Resler (1992). Soviet foreign policy in transition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521413656. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "A government of lost turtles: Lenin in Denmark". Copenhagen Post. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Da Lenin var i København [When Lenin was in Denmark]" (in Danish). Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Christensen, C. B.; Poulsen, N. B.; Smith, P. S., Under hagekors og Dannebrog : danskere i Waffen SS 1940–45, Aschehoug, 2006 (Hardcover, ISBN 978-87-11-11843-6, p. 139-142).
  13. ^ War and children in Finland during the Second World War. 4 August 2008. pp. 12. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Release of the Danish island Bornholm by Soviet forces during the World War II". Russian embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  15. ^ Knudsen, Ann Vibeke (2001). "Bornholm i Krig 1940-1946". Bornholm: Bornholms Museum & Museumsrådet for Bornholms Amt. ISBN 87-88179-49-4. 
  16. ^ Edmund Osmańczyk: Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements, Taylor and Francis 2002, ISBN 0415939216, page 104
  17. ^ "Denmark Delivers Tanker to Soviet; Rejects U. S. Warning Aid May Be Cut Off Because Deal Preceded American Ban". New York Times. 8 July 1952. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Truman bars halt in aid to Denmark: Couples Continuation Orders With 'Regrets' at Copenhagen Ship Delivery to Soviet". New York Times. 26 July 1952. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "Nikita Krushchev visits Denmark". Copenhagen Limousine Service. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  20. ^ Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev,Sergeĭ Khrushchev,George Shriver,Stephen Shenfield (2007-). Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Statesman, 1953-1964. Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 9780271029351. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Korolev and Freedom of Space: February 14, 1955–October 4, 1957". NASA. NASA. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  22. ^ "1958: Denmark". Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  23. ^ Bulganin warns Denmark not to permit use of bases for A-war against Russia. The Tuscaloosa News. 31 March 1957. pp. 25.,3594463. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "STRATEGY: Turn of the Screw". The Time. 8 April 1957.,9171,809332,00.html. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Denmark drops USSR sanctions". Lakeland Ledger (Copenhagen, Denmark): p. 13. 24 March 1983.,3692875. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  26. ^ "Gorbachev's Murmansk Initiative". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "Sovjetunionen — et marked for danske virksomheder?". Tidskriften. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  28. ^ Denmark and Union of Soviet Socialist RepublicsLong-term Trade Agreement. Signed at Copenhagen on 24 October 1969. 16473. p. 103. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 

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