Friday, 29 September, 2023

Denmark to triple defence budget over next decade

COPENHAGEN: Denmark's government announced Tuesday that it would triple its defence budget over the next 10 years in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Denmark intends to reach the NATO goal of spending two percent of gross domestic product on the military by 2030 -- a target that few of the alliance's 30 members ever reach.

"The government wants to significantly strengthen Danish defence and security with approximately 143 billion kroner ($20.5 billion) over the next 10 years," acting Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said in a statement, reports AFP.

In 2024, investments in equipment, personnel and infrastructure will amount to 6.9 billion kroner and should reach 19.2 billion kroner in 2033.

The added funds are to be financed in part by the abolition of a public holiday that has already passed, despite protests from many Danes.

Denmark currently spends 1.38 percent of its GDP on defence.

The announcement came a day after Denmark said it was committing 17.9 billion kroner, in addition to another 7.5 billion pledged in March, to a Ukraine aid fund -- mainly dedicated to military assistance.

"The goal remains to keep the Arctic and the North Atlantic as a low-tension area. We will of course protect Denmark and fulfil our obligation to take joint responsibility for security in the Baltics and the Baltic Sea," Lund Poulsen added.

"At the same time, Denmark must continue to support Ukraine significantly... And we must continue to be active and be able to send contributions to the rest of the world," the minister said.