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UKRAINE

Denmark to spend additional 600 million kroner on weapons for Ukraine

Denmark is to increase its military equipment and weapons contribution to Ukraine by 600 million kroner, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a briefing on Thursday after meeting with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen and Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky address a joint press conference in Kyiv
Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen and Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky address a joint press conference in Kyiv on April 21st 2022. Photo: Miguel Gutierrez/EPA/Ritzau Scanpix

The additional contribution takes Denmark’s total spending on weapons for Ukraine over a billion kroner (134 million euros).

Frederiksen said earlier on Thursday that Denmark would send more weapons to Ukraine without specifying the type of weapons in question. She did not further elaborate at the briefing, at which Zelensky and Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez were also present.

“Denmark has given a lot of support to Ukraine from the beginning. Politically, financially and via sanctions. (And) with the lack of equipment, especially with what you need the most – weapons,” she said addressing Zelensky.

“And we will do what we can to also support Ukraine in future,” she said.

Denmark will give 600 million kroner to Ukraine to finance weapons and will also assist the country with mine clearance and rebuilding work, Frederiksen said.

“We have seen today how important this is if people are to return to the places they’ve lived all their lives,” she said.

During the briefing, Zelensky said that Ukraine wanted to “build our defences not just on soldiers, but also heavy weapons”.

“The Russian army does not care about the number of dead soldiers. We do, and we want to save more lives, but this needs heavier weapons. We don’t have enough and we want to have more,” he said.

Sanchez condemned the “atrocities” allegedly committed by Russian forces in the town of Borodyanka outside Kyiv during the visit with his Danish counterpart.

“Shocked to witness the horror and atrocities of Putin’s war on the streets of Borodyanka,” Sanchez tweeted along with a video of his visit to the war-ravaged town.

“We will not leave the Ukrainian people alone,” he added.

The bodies of nine civilians, some showing signs of torture, were found Wednesday night in two graves around Borodyanka, a senior police official said.

The pullback of Russian forces from towns and villages around Kyiv left a trail of civilian deaths, beginning with discoveries in Bucha, that have led Ukrainian officials to accuse Russia of genocide.

Authorities in Kyiv say hundreds of bodies of  civilians have been found in areas controlled by Russian forces around the capital in the opening stages of the February 24th invasion.

Sanchez and Frederiksen arrived in Kyiv earlier on Thursday for talks with Zelensky.

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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UKRAINE

UPDATED: Denmark’s government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

Denmark’s government has said it will support Ukraine’s bid for EU membership after the European Commission deemed the country’s candidacy viable.

UPDATED: Denmark's government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

Ukraine’s bid to be part of the EU got a majority backing in Danish Parliament on Friday after the European Commission backed the bid.

“It is really, really important that Europe opens the door for Ukraine, so that we can get started to ensure that Ukraine can be ready for EU membership,” foreign affairs spokesperson Michael Aastrup told newswire Ritzau.

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Twitter that Denmark was looking forward to continuing cooperation with Ukraine on reforms.

The possibility for Ukraine to become part of the EU is conditional on Ukraine implementing reforms – on rule of law, oligarchs, human rights and tackling corruption – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday. She added that “good work has been done.”

Candidacy status is a significant step to joining the EU but the whole process can take years.

“When a candidate’s status is granted, it is not the same as Ukraine being ready to join the EU. There are a large number of criteria to be met and there are a large number of outstanding ones that Ukraine lacks. These are some of the things that are being addressed”, Michael Aastrup said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen will attend a meeting in Brussels next week where the recommendation from the European Commission will be voted and signed off by the EU’s 27 member states. France, Germany and Italy have also already backed Ukraine’s bid but the decision has to be unanimous.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that status as a candidate for EU membership is vital to his country, while the country’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has said the question could be decisive in the war to defend Ukraine from invasion by Russia.

READ MORE: Number of Ukrainian refugees working in Denmark triples in one month

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