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Feb 20, 2021
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Denmark has an eye on the Arctic

Denmark will provide $ 245 million for the creation of modern drones to enhance surveillance of Greenland. Another $ 400 million will be spent on the construction of a radar radar in the Faroe Islands.

The measures are part of Copenhagen’s strategy to ramp up defense spending in the Arctic to contain Russia and China, which Danish politicians say could gain control of waterways and resource deposits due to ice melting due to global warming.

“We see the activation of foreign powers in the Arctic and the North Atlantic Ocean. We need to strengthen our presence in the region and better monitor it. Not in order to provoke an increase in tensions, but for [компетентной] assessment of serious threats “,

– said the Minister of Defense of Denmark Trine Brahmsen

While the technical capabilities of Denmark in the Arctic are scanty – four vessels for monitoring the water space, four helicopters and one aircraft. Copenhagen justifies their presence in the Arctic by the need to provide timely assistance to fishing vessels in the event of a disaster. Copenhagen’s decision to strengthen control over Greenland is due to the fact that it is thanks to Denmark’s sovereignty over Greenland that Denmark can be considered an Arctic power.

Greenland has a significant share of autonomy and has the right to conduct sovereign foreign economic activities, with the exception of transactions related to reserves of strategic raw materials. Recently, the Chinese have shown great interest in Greenland. They are ready to invest in the modernization of airports, roads and port infrastructure. Copenhagen is worried about this, but he cannot oppose anything to Penkin.

Copenhagen’s policy in the Arctic is consistent with the EU’s collective policy in the region. Of the eight member states of the Arctic Council, three are EU members (Denmark, Sweden, Finland). Brussels focuses on scientific and environmental activities in the Arctic, masking the military component of its actions. Thus, within the framework of the Horizon-2020 program with a budget of hundreds of millions of euros, dozens of projects have been carried out to study the processes of ice melting.

In the future, this information will be used to predict the rate of decrease in the permafrost area and the possibility of using waterways freed from ice. Brussels invites the EU countries to discuss in advance the issue of joint use of the Arctic subsoil, but these subsoil must first be reached. Denmark’s efforts to build up its technical presence in the region are aimed at providing favorable starting conditions for this enterprise.

Own corr. FSK

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