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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

People demonstrate in Copenhagen against Russian aggression in Ukraine
People demonstrate in Copenhagen against Russian aggression in Ukraine on February 23rd, prior to the Russian invasion of the country in the early hours of February 24th 2022. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Prime Minister reacts to Russian invasion of Ukraine 

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has released a statement following the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

“A military attack on a free and sovereign nation has no place in Europe in our time. Russia’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will stand united, there will be consequences. My thoughts are with the people of Ukraine,” Frederiksen said in a statement released by the PM’s office.

Other political party leaders have also condemned the military attack.

Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, leader of the opposition Liberal party, said “Putin’s unprovoked and completely unnecessary attack on Ukraine is step backwards for European civilisation”.

Conservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen called the invasion “an unprovoked attack on a democratic and peaceful country”.

Poulsen said responsibility for the invasion was “solely Russia’s”.

Foreign minister promises sanctions against Russia 

The foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, told broadcaster DR this morning that Denmark would coordinate with other countries over sanctions in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“This will be met by the West with hard reactions and sanctions. We will therefore coordinate with our European allies, but also with the Americans and British over a united, hard and clear response to this attack on Ukraine, a sovereign country in Europe,” Kofod said.

Denmark closes embassy in Kyiv and urges people to seek safety

The Danish embassy in Ukrainian capital Kyiv has been closed for safety reasons, according to the foreign ministry’s website.

People seeking advice are asked to contact the foreign ministry’s global service via telephone or email. Contact details are provided here.

The Ukraine section of the Danish foreign ministry website states that there are “reports of explosions and rocket attacks in northern, eastern and southern Ukraine”.

Left wing party under pressure over double salaries

The left wing party Red Green Alliance is facing criticism after a number of its municipal mayors were reported to be receiving two salaries. Various rules enable serving politicians to be paid a double salary, for example for serving in positions in municipalities and parliament or private sector roles consecutively.

Red Green Alliance is a longstanding critic of the practice but has declined to answer questions over its own mayors apparently partaking in it, broadcaster DR reported yesterday.

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A new military hub for Nato on Danish shores, a filmmaker representing Denmark at Cannes, and a slightly cooler weekend are among the top news stories in Denmark this Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

‘Military hub’ for US, Nato forces coming to Denmark 

The port city of Esbjerg, which also played host to this week’s green energy meetings, has been flagged as the site of a new mustering point for Nato and especially United States military forces, according to a press release from the Danish Ministry of Defense. 

The United States expressed interest in Esbjerg, on Jutland’s west coast, in particular as a jumping-off point to transport troops and technology to the Baltic Sea area. 

“The Port of Esbjerg has a good location and size, proximity to the airport, good connections to the railway and motorway network and is close to several large barracks,” the press release said. 

The Danish government plans to make a number of costly improvements to the port to better support the new military hub. Those are expected to be completed by the end of 2023, the release said. 

READ ALSO: Denmark prepared to send 800 troops to Baltic states

Iranian living in Copenhagen shines at Cannes Film Festival

Danish-Iranian Ali Abassi, 40, is making waves at the Cannes Film Festival with his new film “Holy Spider,” the “gritty story of a serial killer ‘cleansing’ the Iranian holy city of Mashhad,” newswire Agence France-Presse reports. 

Abassi grew up in Iran and immigrated to Scandinavia to study architecture in Stockholm at the age of 21, ultimately settling in Copenhagen after attending the National Film School of Denmark. 

In 2018, Abassi brought home the trophy for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section with “Border,” which AFP describes as an “eccentric troll-fantasy film about a border guard.” 

Cooler weather ahead 

After two balmy days, Denmark can expect a cooler and cloudier weekend, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute. 

“The beautiful weather has almost disappeared like dew to the sun,” meteorologist Klaus Larsen told newswire Ritzau with a little poetic flair. 

We can look forward (or not) to a Saturday with minimal sunshine, “fresh” winds, occasional showers, and temperatures between 14-18 degrees. 

Sunday is your best chance for outdoor fun, Larsen says. “It will stay mostly dry with little or no sun and winds that will decrease and become light to steady during the day.”