Danish PM Frederiksen in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Zelensky

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrived in Kyiv along with her Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez on Thursday for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Ukraine along with her Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Ukraine along with her Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez on April 21st. Photo: Pool Moncloa/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

“Government leader Pedro Sanchez has just arrived in Kyiv, where he will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is travelling with him,” the Spanish government said. 

“After their talks the three leaders will meet the press,” it added.

Danish broadcaster TV2 reported on Wednesday that it had spoken with Frederiksen from the town of Borodyanka near Kyiv.

Frederiksen is the first Scandinavian leader to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion of the country, which began on February 24th.

“We intend to send even more weapons to Ukraine. That’s what’s needed most,” she told TV2.

Denmark has previously sent 2,700 shoulder-mounter anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainian army.

“We are speaking about how we can contribute to rebuilding (Ukraine) after the war,” Frederiksen also told TV2.

Sanchez said on Wednesday he would convey to Zelensky the European Union and Spain’s “clear engagement… for peace”.

He said Spain would continue to work for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine, while also sending “all the humanitarian and military aid needed” and taking in Ukrainian refugees.

Spain has taken in 134,000 Ukrainians, of whom 64,000 have received temporary protection, including accommodation and a work permit.

Madrid has sent about a dozen planes to Ukraine carrying “hundreds of tonnes” of weapons and humanitarian supplies, Defence Minister Margarita Robles said on Monday.

In another sign of support for Kyiv, Sanchez announced on Monday that Spain would reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital “in a few days’ time”.

The embassy suspended activity the day after the Russian invasion on February 24th for security reasons.

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Denmark could see new influx of Ukrainian refugees 

Denmark and other countries in Europe could see new refugees arrive from Ukraine this winter due to intensified Russian bombing campaigns, according to reports.

Denmark could see new influx of Ukrainian refugees 

Russian attacks on civilian areas and infrastructure have caused significant damage and NATO is telling European countries to prepare to receive more refugees ahead of a harsh winter, broadcaster DR reports

In response, municipal governments in Denmark are calling for a new strategy to distribute Ukrainian refugees across the country.

Currently, the Danish Immigration Service uses a ‘distribution key’ to decide where to settle refugees — as it stands, larger municipalities are expected to host a number of refugees proportional to their population. 

But Copenhagen Municipality said it is short of housing and wants the system to be modified.

“They should look at where there are municipalities in the country with empty houses where people can be accommodated, and then distribute according to that instead of distributing according to the size of the municipalities,” Jens-Kristian Lütken, Copenhagen Municipality’s elected committee leader for employment and integration, told DR. 

“If there is a new wave of displaced people from Ukraine, they will initially be staying in hotel rooms,” he said. 

Thus far, 34,945 Ukrainian refugees have been granted temporary protection in Denmark, DR writes. The number is far below initial projections of up to 100,000 from spring 2022. 

READ MORE: ‘Over a quarter’ of Ukrainian refugees in Denmark now working