Denmark to increase military presence in Arctic: minister

Denmark will increase the presence of its military in the Arctic region in coming years, Minister of Defence Trine Bramsen has said.

Denmark to increase military presence in Arctic: minister
File photo: Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix

The Arctic region is one of five key areas for Denmark in relation to defence, the minister said in an interview with Jyllands-Posten.

“With ice melting due to climate change, many new challenges are taking place and new threats are emerging in the north,” Bramsen said.

“The presence of the military in the Arctic will be strengthened in the coming years in reaction to these developments, to ensure stability and security,” she added.

Exact measurements must initially be discussed by parliament’s defence committee, but the minister said one option would be to use some of the 1.5 billion kroner added to the defence budget in January this year.

“It is crucial that the military is able to ensure security and safety across the Kingdom,” Bramsen said.

In addition to the Arctic, Denmark’s military has four other key areas, the minister said.

Those include better defence against cyber-attacks; doing more for Denmark’s veterans and ongoing recruitment; as well as contribution to the national focus on converting to green energy, given the large number of aircraft, ships, buildings and vehicles owned by the military.

READ ALSO: The Local speaks to Danish veterans prior to Invictus Games

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Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes

Denmark's government on Friday decried two Russian aircraft violating Danish airspace and summoned   Moscow's ambassador over the incident.

Denmark decries airspace violations by Russian planes
Russian MiG fighter jets. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

The defence ministry in one NATO’s founding members said fighter jets had been scrambled to counter the incursion on Friday,  Ritzau news agency reported.

“Completely unacceptable that Russian planes violate Danish airspace, even twice in one day,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a post to Twitter.

Kofod added that the repeat violation made it look like a “deliberate action”.

“We are still examining the details, but I have already taken the initiative to summon the Russian ambassador for a talk at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs,” the foreign minister said.

The violations had occurred over the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, south of Sweden.

“It is very rare that we see this type of violation of Danish airspace, so two in the same day must be deemed to be serious,” Defence Minister Trine Bramsen told Ritzau.

According to the agency, Russia has repeatedly flown over Danish airspace and in August 2020, a Russian B52 bomber also flew over Bornholm.