Denmark ready to send troops to the Baltics
Thorning-Schmidt: Not an escalation
Denmark is prepared to send a company of up to 300 troops to the Baltic nations and Poland after Russia’s reportedly more active role in the fighting going on between Russian separatists and government troops in Ukraine.
The company will be deployed on a NATO-run rotational basis for up to 90 days and will take part in military exercises in particularly Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania which, like Ukraine, also have considerable Russian minority populations. Denmark will also contribute non-weapons material to Ukraine.
”We want to send a clear message to the NATO nations who feel vulnerable,” Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Danish prime minister, said according to TV2 News. “They need to know that they can count on the rest of NATO.”
More to come
This first company deployed could prove to be just the first step in terms of contributing to the eastern parts of Europe as Denmark is considering taking part in a planned NATO reaction force able to quickly deploy 4,000 soldiers to eastern Europe.
Thorning-Schmidt has rejected the notion that Denmark and NATO are contributing to the escalation of the conflict with Russia, arguing that all initiatives are within the parameters of the agreement that Russia and NATO signed in 1997 concerning co-operation and security.