Denmark to send 800 NATO troops to Latvia
The fortification of NATO’s eastern flank in the face of Russia continues, regardless of possible consequences.
In response to a request from NATO, Denmark will send 800 troops to Latvia in May, the Danish PM said Thursday.
Copenhagen had placed the battalion on alert amid rising tensions between the West and Moscow.
Denmark has already sent land and air reinforcements to the Baltic states and Poland.
On Tuesday, the Danish government said it was ready to send 800 soldiers to the Baltics if NATO said so.
"We have now received a formal request from NATO to place the battalion in Latvia," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to the Baltic nation on Thursday.
The troops are due to arrive in May, the Danish military said.
NATO has sent a large number of troops to the alliance's eastern flank with reinforcements in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
Some 100,000 US troops are now present in Europe, more than 40,000 of them under direct NATO command in eastern Europe.
Denmark sent fighter jets to Lithuania before Russia’s operation in Ukraine, and in early March it sent 200 troops to Estonia, two fighter jets to Poland and a frigate to the eastern waters of the Baltic Sea.
Denmark seems to be joining Sweden and Finland in their "defense" policy switch-ups
On March 7, the Prime Minister of Denmark called on citizens to invalidate its opt-out from the EU defense policy in a referendum that will be held on June 1, which comes after Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
"Historic times call for historic decisions," Mette Frederiksen told a news conference, where she said that the government clearly calls on Danes to "lift the opt-out on defense."
Copenhagen's opt-out, which is one of four special arrangements in the EU that has been negotiated by Denmark, has seen the country abstain from military operations, in addition to providing support and supplies to wars where the EU is concerned.
This referendum could potentially constitute a drastic turnaround in Denmark's defense policy which hasn't wavered for 30 years, coming at a time when other European nations, including Sweden, have also been switching up their policies to pitch into NATO's war against Russia in Ukraine.