Denmark to send 800 Nato troops to Latvia

Denmark will send 800 troops to Latvia in May in response to a request from Nato, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during a visit to the Adazi military base in Latvia
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during a visit to the Adazi military base in Latvia. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Copenhagen had placed the battalion on alert after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and amid rising tensions between the West and Moscow.

Denmark has already sent land and air reinforcements to the Baltic states and Poland.

On Tuesday, the Danish government said it was ready to send 800 soldiers to the Baltics if Nato requested them.

“We have now received a formal request from Nato to place the battalion in Latvia,” Frederiksen said during a visit to the Baltic nation on Thursday.

The troops are due to arrive in May, the Danish military said.

Nato has sent a large number of troops to the alliance’s eastern flank with reinforcements in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

Some 100,000 US troops are now present in Europe, more than 40,000 of them under direct Nato command in eastern Europe.

Denmark sent fighter jets to Lithuania before the invasion of Ukraine, and in early March it sent 200 troops to Estonia, two fighter jets to Poland and a frigate to the eastern waters of the Baltic Sea.

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

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Danish authorities can send sirens to phones with new alert system

A new digital warning system takes effect in Denmark from April.

Danish authorities can send sirens to phones with new alert system

Each May, Denmark tests the physical sirens that authorities can use to warn the population if there is an emergency situation.

That system will next month be supplemented by a digital version that will enable Danish authorities to send siren sounds and warning messages to smartphones, broadcaster DR reports.

With the new system, which is named S!RENEN, authorities will be able to send emergency messages to all phones within a selected local, regional or national area without those phones needing any specific apps to receive them.

“With this system we have a way to send out warnings that goes straight to the individual’s mobile phone and as well as being able to hear the physical sirens, the message will state what’s happened,” director of the Danish Fire Services (Beredskabsstyrelsen) Laila Reenberg told DR.

The messages will be one-way and so it will not be possible to reply to them. The siren noise they will make can be switched off by tapping the message.

The text of the messages can include safety advice and instructions as well as information about the situation.

Authorities do not receive data about mobile devices or their locations when the messages are sent.

“You don’t go in to the individual’s phone. It’s just a signal that goes in and not a registration of any kind,” Reenberg said.

The launch of the system will mean Denmark comes in line with a 2018 EU directive requiring the ability to warn all residents within the EU via their mobile phones in the event of a crisis or catastrophe.

Denmark’s version of the system will enable foreign SIM-cards within the affected area to receive an English-language version of the message.

The messages will go through to telephones even if they are set to silent or flight mode.

Because children with phones will also receive the messages, parents should consider speaking to kids about the possibility of receiving one, according to the head of the national parents’ association FOLA.

“You should start by saying to them that this was decided a long time before the war in Ukraine broke out, so remember to underline that it’s not because a war has broken out close to them that they are getting this alarm,” Signe Nielsen of FOLA, which provided input in the development of the system, told DR.

“We asked ourselves if we would be happy if our children didn’t get these messages, and we wouldn’t. They also need to know if there’s something like poisonous smoke and they have to go inside and find an adult,” she said.

An information campaign for the public, including children, is set to take place before the system launches in April.

READ ALSO: Danish authorities issue information to Ukrainians ahead of annual siren test