Denmark boosts military preparedness amid Ukraine tensions

Denmark said on Tuesday it was boosting its military preparedness in response to Russia's "unacceptable military pressure" on Ukraine, putting a mobile NATO-operational battalion on alert.

Denmark's defence minister Morten Bødskov
Denmark's defence minister Morten Bødskov, who took over the post on Tuesday following a government reshuffle. Denmark has said it is boosting "military preparedness" due to the situation in Ukraine. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish military “will boost the readiness of the combat battalion at NATO’s disposal so that it will be available within one to five days”, compared to the usual 30 days, the defence ministry said.

The battalion of 700-800 troops will be located in Slagelse, around 90 kilometres west of Copenhagen, it added.

“The security situation in Europe has intensified as a result of unacceptable Russian military pressure on Ukraine”, Denmark’s defence ministry said.

Amid Western nations’ fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Denmark said it would also be ready to send two F-16 fighter jets to its Baltic island of Bornholm “if judged necessary”.

Danish F-16s were already mobilised to the island last summer after Russia violated Danish airspace on several occasions. 

“For the moment there is no increased threat to Denmark or Bornholm”, Danish defence chief Flemming Lentfer told news agency Ritzau.

“We are strengthening our military capabilities in order to be able to respond more quickly if the situation requires it,” he said.

In order to bolster NATO’s presence in eastern Europe, Denmark in January sent a frigate to the Baltic Sea and four F-16 jets to Lithuania.

Last week, the Scandinavian country, which is also a member of the European Union, said it was ready to send military equipment to Ukraine and committed to granting Kyiv around 80 million euros in annual aid.

The money is in addition to a support programme worth 22 million euros announced in mid-January by Denmark’s foreign minister.

READ ALSO: Denmark prepared to send military equipment to Ukraine

Member comments

  1. Diplomacy should outweigh militarism while the two sides are still cordial to one another it is better to avoid an escalation than build up a detterent.

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Seven members of Danish embassy expelled by Russia

Moscow said Thursday that seven members of Denmark's embassy in Russia have been declared persona non grata and had two weeks to leave Russia.

Seven members of Danish embassy expelled by Russia

Russia’s foreign ministry said it summoned Danish Ambassador Carsten Søndergaard to inform him of the retaliatory measures following the expulsion of 15 Russian diplomats from Denmark and the country’s military aid to Kyiv.

“The kingdom’s openly anti-Russian policies cause serious damage to bilateral ties,” the foreign ministry in Moscow said in a statement.

Russia reserves the right “to take additional steps in response to Copenhagen’s unfriendly actions,” the statement said, adding that a diplomat of the Danish mission was also refused a visa as part of the retaliatory measures.

The Danish foreign ministry said that Russia was expelling seven members of its diplomatic mission including four diplomats.

In a statement to AFP, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod called the move “a totally unjustified and deeply problematic decision”.

“Russia no longer wants real dialogue and diplomacy,” he said, noting that Denmark had in fact expelled Russian intelligence agents and not diplomats.

Since President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24th, the West has expelled dozens of Russian diplomats and Russia retaliated in tit-for-tat moves.

READ ALSO: Denmark accuses Russian spy plane of violating airspace