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Denmark announces more aid to Ukraine amidst intensified Russian spying

Denmark’s Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen announced on Tuesday that the country would donate USD 250 mln worth of military equipment and financial support to Ukraine. This comes as part of Denmark’s continued efforts to support NATO and strengthen its defense in the region.

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The donation will include both military equipment and financial support, amounting to 1.7 bln Danish crowns. Denmark will also reduce its military presence in Iraq in early 2024, focusing instead on the Baltic countries.

The country plans to offer a battalion to defend the region, consisting of between 700 and 1,200 soldiers, which is expected to be deployed in Latvia for between four and six months each year. For the rest of the year, the troops will remain in Denmark, ready to be deployed in the Baltic states in case of a crisis.

Denmark’s Defense Minister emphasized the importance of maintaining a long-term presence in the Baltics and finding a balance between having soldiers on the ground and being ready to deploy them from Denmark.

Meanwhile, Denmark’s intelligence service, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET), warned of potential spying attempts by Russia. PET expects Russia to recruit civilians, journalists, and business people to spy on Denmark, as an alternative to Russian diplomats who were expelled last year on suspicion of espionage.

Russia’s need for intelligence gathering in NATO countries has intensified due to its invasion of Ukraine. As a transit point for NATO reinforcements, Denmark plays a strategic role in a potential military conflict with Russia, making the country a particular focus for Russia.

Denmark had expelled 15 Russian diplomats in April last year, which had severely hindered Russia’s ability to spy on Danish soil. In response, PET expects Russia to try other ways of spying, such as stationing intelligence officers in Denmark outside of diplomatic representations, using visiting intelligence officers, or recruiting any Danish sources in Russia or in third countries.

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