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Denmark signs major defense agreement with US – Euractiv

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Denmark will allow U.S. troops to be stationed in the country, according to a deal announced by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, which marks a major shift in Danish defense policy, but also allows for the presence of U.S. troops in neighboring Norway and Sweden. , mirroring a similar agreement signed by Finland.

On Tuesday, Denmark followed Sweden and other neighboring countries in hosting U.S. soldiers on Danish soil. Social Democratic Party leader and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced the defense agreement at a press conference with Liberal Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.

“We live in violent times when many forces challenge our democracy and the rules of the democratic game,” Frederiksen said justifying the agreement with the United States.

Frederiksen said the deal represents a major change in Denmark’s defense policy, noting that U.S. troops will be permanently stationed at three air bases in the country.

“This applies both in the short and long term,” he said, adding that in this way Denmark will strengthen US access to Europe and the Baltic Sea and contribute to NATO’s collective defense of Europe, a core mission for both NATO and Denmark. Then he added. – NATO members, like Norway, have been members since the military alliance was formed in 1949.

However, Frederiksen said, “It has not been decided yet how many people will participate,” and it is unclear how many soldiers will be sent to the country.

However, Denmark’s shift in military policy is not the biggest surprise, as its Nordic neighbors are gradually following suit.

Sweden signed a defense cooperation agreement earlier this month giving the United States access to and use of some of Sweden’s 17 military bases, facilities and training ranges, but Finland, a new NATO member and Russia’s neighbor, on Monday Signed its own agreement with the United States. Access to 15 military facilities.

However, the Danish coalition government insisted that the deal did not change Denmark’s position and confirmed that there were no nuclear weapons on its territory.

“All activities are coordinated with Denmark’s national defense and carried out in accordance with law and sovereignty,” Poulsen said.

The deal does not cover Greenland or the Faroe Islands, which make up most of Denmark’s autonomous regions, but still requires parliamentary approval, which the government estimates could take “a year”.

(Charles Zumski | Euractiv.com)

Read more at Euractiv





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