In Arctic push US extends new economic aid package to Greenland

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adele-...@rogers.com

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Sep 16, 2021, 7:30:55 PMSep 16
to Arctic Security Discussion

In Arctic push US extends new economic aid package to Greenland

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/arctic-push-us-extends-new-economic-aid-package-greenland-2021-09-15/

By Jacob Gronholt-pedersen

 

 

 

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A general view of Nuuk, Greenland, September 11, 2021. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

NUUK, Greenland, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Greenland said on Wednesday it had agreed a new economic aid package with the United States which seeks to boost ties the world's biggest island and strengthen U.S. military presence in the Arctic.

Washington has a military base on Greenland but paid little attention to the Arctic for two decades until 2019, when it began turning to the island to try to counter a Russian and Chinese commercial and military buildup in the region.

The aid package from USAid worth $10 million announced on Wednesday is primarily aimed at development of Greenland's mining sector, tourism and education.

"This is not a big amount, but symbolically it's very important," the country's minister for industry and foreign affairs, Pele Broberg, told Reuters in an interview in the capital Nuuk.

 

The package comes on top of a $12.1 million package announced by Washington last year, which drew some criticism from Copenhagen for creating division between Greenland and Denmark.

Greenland, home to only 57,000 people but rich in natural resources, is a former colony and now an autonomous Danish territory.

It gained international attention in 2019 when former President Donald Trump tried to buy the island. Last year, the United States opened a consulate in Greenland, where it for decades has had a military base that is vital to its ballistic missile early warning system.

Greenland elected a new government in April that has pledged to halt a large Chinese-backed rare earth mining project because it contains radioactive uranium. The project was seen as a potential game-changer for the country's tiny economy.

 

Report ad"It has some ripple effects to say no to uranium mining, but we think there are other areas that can be developed, and that is what we will look into with the Americans," said Broberg of a small pro-independence party.

With an economy heavily dependant on fishing, the island relies on annual grants of around $600 million from Denmark. However, some see the relationship with Denmark as an obstacle to economic development.

"We don't get the support from Denmark we need to be able to thrive. So now we try to go our own ways, without Denmark, and we're starting small," Broberg said.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Philippa Fletcher

 

jdsharries jdsharries

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Sep 16, 2021, 8:10:33 PMSep 16
to adele-buckley, arctic-nuclear-weapon-free

 It has been clear to any thinking person that:

1) as the US has come to realize how far it is behind Russia in terms of Arctic knowledge, presence, capability and capacity (under any climate change scenario) the soto voce $ analysts are working overtime to offer 'the administration' - has Biden ever mentioned the Arctic? - ways to deal with a (probably) irrecoverable 'competitive disadvantage' in and on Arctic issues.

2) One scenario (has long been - sorry, idealists) that buying Greenland is the 'US card' in the Arctic. How many remember the Trump offer to "buy" Greenland? Can you imagine a person like Trump thinking up such a proposal?

WHAT DOES THE ARCTIC COUNCIL THINK OF THIS 'PUSH' by the US?

Canada is increasingly only a little-bit player in the 'Arctic Game'. It's membership in the Arctic Council can only become an intensifying international embarrassment unless/until Canada/Canadians more than pretend it/we are in the 'game'.

I HAVE asked before: Has anyone heard any individual, competing to win a seat on 20 Sep, mention the Arctic, as a national issue? I KNOW there has been no political debate of issues NORTH of the Arctic Circle.

DH

 

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