After Finland, Norway & Sweden, United States of America signs defense cooperation agreement with Denmark. These agreements would contribute to US military boots on these countries’ soil that would help to advance US strategy to contain Russia militarily. 

Report: Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
             New Delhi, 22 December 2023

Denmark and US has signed a defence agreement that will allow U.S. soldiers and military equipment to be based on Danish soil. Danish foreign minister Lars Rasmussen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed the agreement at department of state on 21st December.  The 10-year agreement was announced after the United States signed similar agreements with Finland and Sweden this month. The agreement would mean that American soldiers and equipment can be permanently stationed on Danish soil.

The agreement, which Denmark and the United States began negotiating in February last year will enter into force when necessary legislation has been adopted about a year from after the signing of agreement.  Finland on December 18th signed a defence cooperation agreement with the United States to grant the U.S. military broad access across the Nordic country to the vicinity of its 1340 km border with Russia. Sweden signed a similar agreement earlier in December, and Norway, which also shares a short border with Russia, in 2021 signed an agreement with the United States on how to regulate U.S. military activity on its soil.

The relationship of Denmark with Russia has increasingly strained after the break up of Soviet Union in 1991, who were trading partners then. In 2022 Denmark was one of the nations that imposed sanctions on Russia, whereas Russia designated Denmark as an “unfriendly nation”. If we go back in recent history,  On 27 May 2008, Russia and Denmark signed visa agreements. While Denmark did not negotiate a free trade agreement with Russia, the self-governing Faroe Islands did enter into a free trade agreement with Russia after negotiations in the early 2000s. Both Faroe Island and Soviet Union had a fisheries agreement dealing with their bordering oceans and fish stocks was already reached in 1977. A similar agreement was later reached with Russia.

In June 2014, Russian military planes practiced a missile attack on the Danish island of Bornholm according to the Danish intelligence service. In August 2014, the Danish Government announced that it would contribute to NATO’s missile defense shield by equipping one or more of its frigates with the specific radar capacity. This was shortly after the Russia-Ukrainian War began and amid growing tensions between Russia and NATO. On 22 March 2015, the Russian ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin warned about the consequences of Denmark joining the US-led missile defense. In an interview he said, if this happens, Danish warships become targets for Russian nuclear missiles”.  Denmark however said that the development was not aimed at Russia. The Danish air force has increasingly had to deploy to deter Russian military planes from entering Danish air space, with tens of incidents each year and peaks of activity in 2014 and from 2022.

After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine started, Denmark along with the other EU countries imposed sanctions on Russia, and Russia added all EU countries to the list of “unfriendly nations”. The self-governing Faroe Islands, which are not part of the EU, implemented similar sanctions on Russia. In April 2022, Denmark expelled 15 Russian diplomats from Denmark, and the following month Russia expelled 4 Danish diplomats and 3 other Danish embassy workers from Russia. Relative to its GDP, Denmark was one of the nations that donated most to Ukraine (combined military and humanitarian aid) following the Russian invasion in 2022.

About Shailesh kumar: Shailesh Kumar is the founder editor of National Defence. He is India’s leading investigative journalist who has reported for Star News, India TV, NewsX, News 24. He is deeply interested in International Affairs with focus on People’s Republic of China. 



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