Ukraine and Denmark sign 10-year security agreement

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday (23 February) signed a bilateral security agreement – the first such pact to be made between Kyiv and a Nordic country.

The announcement came as Frederiksen met her Ukrainian counterpart in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, a day before the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Copenhagen has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine and is among the biggest contributors of military aid relative to the size of its economy.

With this step, Denmark has joined the UK, Germany and France in concluding a 10-year security deal with Ukraine as part of a wider Western effort to help the country repel Russia’s aggression.

Danish package

The security guarantees will be financed by Denmark’s Ukraine Fund, which has so far earmarked more than 69 billion Danish kroner (DKK) – €9.2 billion – for the initiative, the Danish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Denmark will also support efforts to secure a holistic F-16 capacity through the Air Force Capability Coalition by providing fighter jets, ammunition, simulators, training, and maintenance.

The agreement also sets out a mechanism for consultations within 24 hours at the request of either party in the event of a future armed attack by Russia.

“This is the most serious security policy situation since the end of the Cold War. And we, from the Danish government’s side, cannot emphasise enough how important it is that Ukraine receives the military capabilities that they need,” Fredriksen said in Lviv.

“If we don’t stand together, Ukraine won’t stand, and potentially Europe won’t either,” she added.

Frederiksen said she expects Denmark to make its first delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine this summer.

According to Fredriksen, it must be clear to everyone now that Russia wants war more than Russia wants peace.

“Russia is in the process of transforming itself into an actual war economy. Political opponents are cleared out of the way. And Putin has shown his willingness to sacrifice the country’s young men on the battlefield,” Fredriksen said.

“Russia must of course not be allowed to determine Europe’s borders by force. It must be freedom and democracy that wins in the end,” she added.

Denmark will provide Ukraine with another defence aid package worth 1.7 billion DKK that includes ammunition and drone equipment, among other military material, the Danish defence ministry announced on Thursday (22 February).

As part of the latest aid package, Copenhagen will reportedly finance the procurement of 15,000 out of 800,000 artillery shells the Czech Republic has found in third-party countries and proposed to send Ukraine.

The 155mm artillery ammunition financed by Denmark are expected to be delivered to Ukraine within a few months, according to the Danish Defence Ministry.

Ramping up Danish defence

Copenhagen will step up strengthening the country’s defence in light of Russia’s continued threat towards Europe.

“With an investment of 155 billion DKK, we are planning a historic boost to the defence. But we can already say that we expect to need more,” Frederiksen said.

While acknowledging it will be expensive, she added that “freedom comes with a price”.

“There was one before, and there is one after February 24, 2022. The world has become a more dangerous place. We have to recognise that and we have to act,” Fredriksen said.

[Edited by Nathalie Weatherald]


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