Biden thanks Denmark for sending weapons to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has thanked Denmark for a recent donation of artillery to Ukraine.

Biden thanks Denmark for sending weapons to Ukraine
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about continued support for Ukraine in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on January 25th. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

During a press briefing on Wednesday, Biden expressed thanks for “all members of the coalition” helping Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.

“Denmark and Estonia are sending howitzers,” Biden continued.

The comments by the US President came during a briefing in which he announced that the United States is to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Denmark’s government last week decided to donate each of the Danish military’s 19 French-produce Caesar howitzers to Kyiv.

The donation means that Denmark has given away a component of its 1st Brigade, which it was building up in accordance with an agreement with Nato, according to news wire Ritzau.

But a replacement could soon be received by the Danish armed forces, Defence Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said last week during a visit to the Ramstein military base in Germany.

“We are very, very close to planning replacement purchases for this. And I hope we can announce soon,” the minister said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that Germany will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Earlier on Wednesday, Biden spoke by telephone to government leaders from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.

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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