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US joins Denmark, Sweden and Finland in signing defense pact

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The United States will permanently station soldiers and equipment in Denmark, after the Scandinavian country reversed decades of foreign policy and became the last country in the region to sign a defense cooperation agreement with Washington. You will be able to do this.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year has prompted Sweden, Finland and Denmark in recent days to sign such agreements with the United States, offering them a means of deepening security ties with major Western forces. ing.

“We are sending a clear signal that Denmark, together with the United States, takes even greater responsibility for Denmark’s security. And that is absolutely necessary,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Tuesday. .

“The goal is that we must ensure peace not only now, but for generations to come.”

Since the 1950s, Denmark has had a policy of not allowing foreign troops or nuclear weapons on its territory. The new 10-year agreement would keep Denmark from having nuclear weapons, but would allow U.S. troops to be stationed at three Danish air bases, where they would be subject to U.S. law (as is customary in such agreements). become.

All seven other Nordic and Baltic states have defense cooperation agreements in addition to NATO members. In the case of Sweden, an application to join the Defense Union is pending.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine in 2022, the Nordic and Baltic regions have become an important focus of Western military and diplomatic efforts.

Finland’s entry into NATO in April doubled the length of the defense alliance’s border with Russia, with a border of 1,340 km. Finland’s borders are currently closed after Russia encouraged illegal asylum seekers to enter the country without permission.

The Nordic countries are intensifying discussions about how to integrate their militaries, which are already closely linked and often conduct joint training missions. Swedish Gripen and Norwegian F-35 fighter jets took off and landed on roads in Finland, along with its Nordic neighbors.

“The future is about playing to our respective strengths. Finland has a strong land force, Sweden has a strong navy and Norway has good Arctic expertise,” said one Nordic diplomat. Told.

Relations between the United States and Denmark were strained several years ago when former U.S. President Donald Trump floated the idea of ​​buying Greenland, a semi-autonomous region that is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. He lashed out at Frederiksen when she claimed she wasn’t for sale.

Danish ministers on Tuesday dismissed questions about what would happen if Trump returns to power in next year’s election, insisting that a 10-year defense cooperation deal is the right one no matter who is in power in Washington.

Frederiksen said: “It is always wise to cooperate as closely as possible with the United States. It should not be impossible to conclude Danish-American relations with a piece of paper.”

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