Denmark Not Ruling Out Military Support to Ukraine After Granting Millions in Aid
Earlier, Denmark contributed a frigate to the combined NATO force in the Baltic Sea and fighter jets to the air police missions over the Baltic States, presenting both steps as surveillance, deterrence, and "sending a signal to Russia". Most recently, the Danish PM also threatened Russia with sanctions of "unprecedented dimensions".
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said she doesn't rule out supporting Ukraine with arms and military gear in case the crisis escalates, adding that she has "no principled opposition" to doing so, the newspaper Jyllands-Posten has reported.
"The situation around Ukraine now poses a serious threat to Europe, and there is a real risk of an armed conflict on European soil", Mette Frederiksen assessed.
Both the opposition liberal-conservative party Venstre and the ruling Social Democrats' allies, the Socialist Liberal Party, support sending military equipment to Ukraine. The Social Liberals, yet another sidekick party, support this measure as well, yet only in coordination with the EU.
The Danish prime minister also threatened Russia with sanctions "of unprecedented dimensions", should the situation in Ukraine escalate any further. Like many Western countries, Denmark sees Russia's massing of troops within its own borders as "aggression" toward Ukraine, despite Moscow having repeatedly denied plans of invasion.
Yet, when asked about the chances of having Danish boots on Ukrainian soil, Frederiksen wouldn't answer. At the same time, she announced more money for the Armed Forces, should their current budget not suffice.
Last week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba visited Denmark. In the course of the visit, his Danish counterpart and Frederiksen's party mate Jeppe Kofod announced that the government would allocate DKK 875 million ($131 million) to the Danish Neighbourhood Programme over the next four years, of which Ukraine will receive DKK 550 million ($82 million).
Denmark previously contributed a frigate to the combined NATO force in the Baltic Sea and fighter jets tasked with air policing the Baltic States – with both steps presented as surveillance, deterrence, and "sending a signal to Russia".
19 January 2022, 06:09 GMT
These steps and promised help to Ukraine both come in the wake of the US, NATO, and Russia exchanging letters on security proposals spelled out by Moscow in an effort to substantially ease the current tensions. Among other things, Washington and NATO were asked to abandon plans of NATO's eastward expansion, particularly plans to incorporate Ukraine or any other former Soviet republic into the alliance.
Tensions between Russia and NATO soared following the Ukraine crisis in 2014, when Western-backed forces ousted the elected government in Kiev following a coup that also spurred Crimea into breaking off and rejoining Russia after a referendum in addition to sparking a civil conflict in the eastern part of the country.
Throughout 2021 and up to the present, Western officials and media have accused Russia of a military buildup near Ukraine's borders in preparation for a possible invasion and threatened with earth-shattering sanctions. Moscow has dismissed all the allegations, instead accusing the West of artificially heightening tensions and hostilities.