Denmark slams US economic aid for Greenland, calls it an ‘insult’

Greenland, home to only 56,000 people but rich in natural resources, is an autonomous Danish territory. (AFP pic)

COPENHAGEN: An economic aid package being prepared by the US government to Greenland is drawing criticism in Denmark less than a year after it rebuffed US President Donald Trump’s offer to buy the vast Arctic island.

The US ambassador to Denmark said in an op-ed this week that the government is working on “a substantial package of economic aid” to Greenland.

“They have clearly crossed the line,” said Karsten Honge, member of the foreign affairs committee for the Socialist People’s Party, a government ally.

“It’s completely unheard of that a close ally tries to create division between Greenland and Denmark this way,”

“This is an attempt to bribe the Greenlandic people with the aim to increase their military presence there,” he told Reuters.

Soren Espersen, a member of the Danish parliament’s foreign affairs committee for opposition party The Danish People’s Party, called the US offer “an insult” to Greenland and Denmark.

The Arctic island is important for the US military and its ballistic missile early warning system, as it balances a Russian and Chinese commercial and military buildup in the Arctic.

Greenland, home to only 56,000 people but rich in natural resources, is an autonomous Danish territory.

The United States plans to open a consulate in Greenland’s capital Nuuk later this year.

Neither the Danish foreign ministry nor the US embassy in Copenhagen were immediately available for comment.