COPENHAGEN – The Danish Defense Intelligence Service’s latest risk assessment report showed a major shift in the country’s priorities, with Greenland taking the top spot in the ranking.
US President Donald Trump surprised Denmark in August by suggesting that Washington could buy the kingdom’s semi-autonomous territory, located in North America. The Danish authorities, however, firmly declined the offer.
With this change, Greenland becomes Denmark’s main source of security concern, ahead of terrorist threats and cyber crime, for example. However, this prioritization is not justified solely by the US attempt to entice.
The Intelligence Service argues that the “power play” in the Arctic region where the island is located has intensified in recent years, raising concerns in Denmark, the BBC writes . Russia, Canada, and the United States are at odds in the area, making their diverse and conflicting claims about Arctic territories to the United Nations.
“Despite the Arctic nations’ shared ambition to keep the region free of security policy disagreements, the military focus on the Arctic is growing. A power game is unfolding between great powers Russia, the United States and China that deepens tensions in the region,” a Danish intelligence representative told the BBC.
The British channel points out that, although it is part of Denmark, Greenland has significant autonomy, including the possibility of signing major international agreements, such as the one it maintains with China in the mining sector.
In addition, Greenland’s strategic importance is growing amid increasing Arctic shipping and competition for rare minerals. Arctic waters are becoming more navigable because of melting ice in the region associated with global warming.
This increasing importance of the Arctic on the international scene has led the US to ostensibly try to prevent the expansion of the Russian presence in the region, with the building of military bases there to prevent it. Moscow, for its part, does not plan to interrupt its exploration missions in the area, where resource deposits, including fossil fuels, are becoming increasingly available with the slow advancement of drilling technologies and the retreat of ice.