Denmark prepared to send 800 Nato troops to Baltic states

Denmark has said it will make a battalion of 800 troops available to Nato in Baltic countries to counter any Russian threat there following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Denmark will make a battalion of 800 troops available to Nato in Baltic countries. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The Nordic country has already deployed some 200 military personnel and fighter jets to Estonia and Lithuania, and sent a frigate to the east of the Baltic Sea.

“We are already significantly present on the ground, but we are ready to do more,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“This is why the government will suggest sending a battalion of 800 (soldiers) to Baltic countries,” she said.

The battalion was on standby, but Nato must make an official request for the soldiers to be sent, the prime minister added.

Frederiksen made the announcement after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Danish parliament via videolink.

Frederiksen is due to travel Wednesday to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, including to visit Danish troops there.

Like many other European countries, Denmark has sent weapons to help Ukraine fight off the Russians.

READ ALSO: Denmark creates jobs website for Ukraine refugees

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Could Denmark benefit from Swedish and Finnish Nato membership?

Turkey has dropped its objections to Sweden and Finland joining Nato, paving the way for the two Nordic nations to join the North Atlantic defence alliance. Could Denmark benefit?

Could Denmark benefit from Swedish and Finnish Nato membership?

Sweden and Finland appear closer to joining Nato after a major stumbling block appeared to be cleared on Wednesday.

Nato on Wednesday evening said that the foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland had all signed a trilateral memorandum which addressed “Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns”. 

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Nato leaders would as a result now be able to issue a formal invitation to Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. 

Denmark stands to gain political weight and status within the defence alliance once Sweden and Finland are members, a Danish military analyst said.

“From a security politics point of view, this would give a close Nordic alliance within Nato,” Hans Peter Michaelsen, military analyst at the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for Military Studies, told news wire Ritzau.

Swedish and Finnish Nato membership could also benefit Denmark militarily, he said.

“Denmark, Sweden and Finland could now support each other militarily,” he said.

“We can complement each other with our different strengths. We can begin to look at distributing burdens internally between the countries. I’m thinking of areas such as the Baltic Sea region here,” he said.

Sweden has a strong navy which is attentive to the Baltic Sea, he noted.

“That means that Nato will command an area where Russia otherwise perhaps did not feel threatened,” he said.

“That will make the Russians consider their future strategy in the region,” he said.

Stoltenberg also cited the Baltic Sea region following the withdrawal by Turkey of its objections.

“This changes the entire balance of power in the Baltic Sea and Baltic Region,” Stoltenberg said according to news wire Ritzau.

With Sweden and Finland in the alliance along with Denmark and the Baltic countries, Nato countries will control all sea access to the Baltic Sea and thereby Russian ports in the region.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: What is in Sweden’s deal with Turkey over Nato?