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New Danish – U.S. Defence Cooperation Underway

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Denmark and the United States have begun talks about a new bilateral defence agreement. The agreement might include American troops on Danish soil, as Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced at a news conference on 10 February 2022.

The potential new Danish-American defence cooperation deal is a breakthrough of a decades-old policy against allowing foreign troops to be stationed on Danish soil. As the Danish Prime Minister told Danish local media, it will allow for an increased American commitment in Denmark and improved access of the United States to the European continent.

The announcement came as tensions ratchet up between Russia and Ukraine. Russia appears ready to invade Ukraine with a massive placement of more than 100,000 troops near Ukrainian borders. Yet, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen stressed to reporters that the negotiations for this future agreement have not been precipitated by the current crisis between Russia and Ukraine. Instead, talks on intensifying military cooperation between Copenhagen and Washington have been in the works for a long time. However, she added that the situation illustrates the need for enhanced cooperation.

Danish Defence Minister Morten Bødskov told reporters that no American military bases would be established in Denmark. He declined to comment on where American troops would be placed in the country. He added that NATO and the United States are the guarantors of Danish security, which is why Denmark stands together with the United States when Western values such as democracy and freedom are challenged.

Danish broadcaster TV2 said the Danish government is seeking to strike a similar kind of defence deal with Washington as neighbouring Norway did in May 2021. Both Scandinavian countries are staunch NATO allies of the United States.

With its treaty with Washington, Norway has allowed unhindered access to American troops that can move freely in and out of the country. However, they must respect Norwegian law, meaning —among other things— that the United States cannot send nuclear weapons, landmines, or cluster bombs with its soldiers to Norwegian soil.

Written by Vasiliki Psychogiou


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