NATO's Common Attitude: Why Denmark Announces Desire to Strengthen Defense in the Arctic

NATO's Common Attitude: Why Denmark Announces Desire to Strengthen Defense in the Arctic

Copenhagen plans to allocate about $ 20 million to strengthen defense in the Arctic. This was stated by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. According to her, the kingdom is “increasing efforts” in this area, which the US is “very happy”. Earlier, the NATO Secretary General announced the need for the presence of the alliance in the region and investment in Arctic military equipment. According to analysts, Denmark is trying in this way to justify itself for insufficient, according to Washington, defense spending. In addition, experts believe that Copenhagen wants to show the US its readiness to defend Greenland, as earlier the head of the White House, Donald Trump, expressed a desire to buy the island.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced plans for the kingdom to allocate about $ million per gain defense in the Arctic.

“We are stepping up our efforts, and I know that the Americans are very happy about this,” the head of the Danish Cabinet said in an interview with Berlingske .

According to Frederiksen, the Arctic region is “increasingly important with points of view of security policy. ”

According to senior researcher at the Center for European Studies of IMEMO RAS Vladimir Olenchenko, a similar statement by Denmark indicates that the kingdom is“ in line with the North Atlantic Alliance ”, which plans to strengthen its presence in the Arctic.

“Denmark was concerned about this issue only because it is a common goal within NATO and Danish-American relations to confront Russia in the Arctic region ”, – the analyst said.

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Recall earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance needs to ensure a presence in the Arctic and invest in Arctic military equipment. Stoltenberg called the reason for such measures the growing presence of the Russian side in the region.

In addition, analysts explain Denmark’s desire to allocate funds to strengthen the defense of the Arctic with Copenhagen’s desire to demonstrate to Donald Trump that he fulfills his financial obligations to NATO. Earlier, during the alliance summit in London, the American leader demanded that the countries of the bloc increase contributions to 4% of GDP. According to him, the share of 2% is extremely low.

In August, Trump accused Denmark of providing the kingdom with insufficient funding for the needs of the North Atlantic Alliance.

“Please note that Denmark spends only 1, 20% of GDP on NATO. They are a rich country, they should spend 2%, ”- wrote the US President on his Twitter page.

As the Higher School of Economics professor Dmitry Evstafiev notes in an interview with RT, the Danish promise to increase spending on defense of the Arctic is a reaction to raising the degree of rhetoric on US financial requirements for NATO countries.

                                    Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen                                                              © Ritzau Scanpix / Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS                             

“Now Trump requires alliance states to allocate 4% to maintain defense capabilities. And given that Denmark had not previously complied with the previous “norm” of the White House head at 2%, now Copenhagen wants to make excuses to NATO. In this way, the kingdom seeks to demonstrate that it has heard Trump’s call and understands the priorities for the alliance’s development in the coming 20 years, ”the expert stated.

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In addition, making such statements, Denmark hopes to defend Greenland after it became known about Washington’s intentions buy an island , analysts say.

Recall, in mid-August, Trump said that showed interest in buying the Danish island of Greenland “from a strategic point of view.”

Frederiksen, in turn, called this idea of ​​the US president “absurd.”

“Kim Kielsen (Prime Minister Minister of Greenland. – RT ) made it clear that Greenland is not for sale, so all conversations ceased. On the other hand, there are many other issues that we would like to discuss with the US president. For example, increased cooperation in the Arctic, ”Danish television channel DR quotes the Danish Prime Minister as saying.

Trump said he postponed a meeting with Danish Prime Minister because of her reluctance to speak about the sale of Greenland to the United States.

“Denmark does not want to lose Greenland because Trump liked it. The head of the White House, when he came forward with the initiative to transfer this territory to the USA, put forward an argument about the lack of defense capability of Denmark, which the kingdom is now trying to refute, ”said Dmitry Evstafiev.

A similar opinion is shared by the head of the sector of regional problems and conflicts IMEMO named after EM Primakova RAS Konstantin Voronov. According to him, Denmark values ​​this territory and does not want to give Washington reasons to take it.

“Greenland is a Danish self-governing territory. This is the largest island in the world where various minerals are located and oil fields are being developed, ”the analyst explained in a conversation with RT.

The NATO Arctic Trend

According to experts, Denmark is moving in the NATO channel to build up its presence in the Arctic. At the same time, the bloc states that the interests of the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance are allegedly threatened by the presence of Russia in the region.

So, in August Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan said about the need to create additional facilities in the region, including a new Navy base. According to the senator, the United States does not want Russia to control the Northern Sea Route.

“Vladimir Putin called the transport routes in the Arctic a new Suez Canal, which Russia will control … I think we do not want Russia controlled them, ”said Sullivan.

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Recall that the Northern Sea Route lies in the economic zone of the Russian Federation.

In early July, similar theses were formulated in a report by Chatham House, a British think tank in international affairs. According to the document, Russia should not consider that it can continue to freely develop the Arctic. It is also noted that the West and the North Atlantic Alliance should begin to achieve parity in this region.

In addition, in June, NATO Secretary General during a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Iceland, Catherine Jacobsdottir, said that Russia is increasing its military presence in the Arctic and 693636 the alliance should respond to this , “Continuing work to maintain low tension in the High North.”

Earlier in May, former US National Security Adviser John Bolton called for a release Academy nicknames coastal service of the United States to “challenge” the growing Russian military influence in the Arctic.

Later, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called such claims “ridiculous, absurd and unfounded.” This was stated by Ambassador on special instructions of the Russian Foreign Ministry on issues of international cooperation in the Arctic Nikolai Korchunov. According to him, it is the US line in this region that is aimed at transforming the Arctic zone into a “promising theater of operations.”

Recall that earlier this year, Richard Spencer, who served as US Secretary of the Navy, announced the intentions of the American side to put on alert the Adak base in Alaska, which Washington had previously used to monitor Soviet submarines. This object was closed in 35 year. In March, the US Marine Corps conducted exercises in extreme climatic conditions.

  •                                 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg                             
  •                                 © Francois Lenoir / Reuters                             


    In May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the American side would strengthen its military presence in the Arctic. He said this on the sidelines of the Arctic Forum, which took place in Finland.

    “We are conducting military exercises, increasing the presence of our forces, restoring our fleet of icebreakers,” said Pompeo.

    According to According to him, the United States “actively contacts its allies on the situation in the Arctic.”

    Experts agree that the accusations against Russia by NATO and the United States are unfounded.

    “All that is threatened by the actions of the Russian Federation on its territory in the Arctic is the freedom of hands of the USA and NATO in this region. For example, this refers to access to the region’s resources or its logistics routes. It is no secret that after the collapse of the USSR, Washington proceeded from the fact that there are simply no restrictions on their military and economic activities in the Arctic, so now the American side is extremely sensitive to any actions of Russia in this region, ”Dmitry Evstafiev said.

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    Konstantin Voronov, in turn, emphasized that Russia has every right to develop its defense in the Arctic.

    “Half of the Arctic sector falls precisely on Russian territories. The Russian Federation does not threaten anyone by enhancing its defense capabilities there, it only protects its lands, ”the analyst stated.

    According to Evstafiev, the Arctic is one of the spaces, the relevance of ownership will increase sharply after 221 years, and NATO understands this.

    “The world is moving from globalization to spatial competition. If earlier the North Atlantic Alliance proceeded from the fact that it could solve all its problems in the Arctic through political manipulation, today the bloc is aware of the inefficiency of such a strategy. Accordingly, something new is needed, in particular, the opportunity to deploy armed forces and appropriate equipment in the region, ”the analyst concluded.

    As Dmitry Evstafiev notes, focusing the international community on the Arctic, Washington seeks to render pressure on its allies.

    “The United States itself does not yet have the military-strength potential in this region. However, they are already creating an organizational basis in order to achieve uncontrolled access to this region by anyone, ”the expert believes.

    •                                 US President Donald Trump with the U.S. military                             
    •                                 © Carlos Barria / Reuters                             

    Will not be appreciated )

    According to Vladimir Olenchenko, the amount in $ million, which Denmark intends to allocate, will not be sufficient to somehow significantly strengthen the defense of the Arctic.

    “The Arctic region is frost, snow, there must be special expensive equipment, appropriate equipment of the armed forces. All this is an extremely capital-intensive business for which Copenhagen does not have enough funds. I do not think that the Danes will be able to sweep widely in this sense. And taking into account the scale of NATO and American appetites, this amount will be quickly mastered, ”the expert said.

    At the same time, Olenchenko admits that for $ 20 million Danes can create a military unit or deepen one of ports in the region.

    However, despite the willingness of Denmark to allocate money in the defense of the Arctic, NATO and the United States are unlikely to appreciate such a move.

    “The fact is that if any countries of the alliance begin to show compliance, then the United States will further pressure them claim, increase the number of claims and claims. And in this case $ 20 million from Denmark is unlikely to satisfy them. Trump will demand even more money, ”the expert concluded.