British and Danish defence ministers issue joint declaration


Press release

The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, and his Danish counterpart signed a joint declaration today in Copenhagen.

UK Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, and Danish Minister for Defence, Trine Bramsen

8 December 2021

The United Kingdom and Denmark are close allies and friends. We share democratic values of freedom, rule of law, and tolerance. We have a long history of working closely together in tackling security problems, both in the framework of NATO, in coalitions and bilaterally. We are both proud seafaring nations with common interests in global safe and free navigation upon the seas.

The recent weaponisation of migration against our Polish and Lithuanian allies, along with an aggressive pattern of Russian military build-ups near Ukraine’s border and in illegally-annexed Crimea, cyber-attacks, the use of disinformation, and the deployment of novel weapons systems, add to heightened tensions in Europe.

These concerning developments call for close cooperation among allies. They show us that threats are real and that we need to be alert. In an era of systemic competition, states are becoming increasingly assertive in how they advance their own objectives and while their actions may fall short of open conflict, they can nonetheless threaten our security and risk escalation into conflict. We must work together to act in response to aggression across the range of state and non-state threats: our collective response is greater than the sum of its parts. Malign and destabilising Russian and Belarussian behaviour is unacceptable and any Russian military incursion onto Ukrainian territory will have dire consequences for Russia’s relationship with the West. We are proud to offer our continued support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Our common efforts in our enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia, our integrated response forces in NATO’s Readiness Initiative and Response Force, and our cooperation on stabilization efforts in Ukraine are important measures to deter and defend against the threats to the Euro-Atlantic region. Our unique relationship and cooperation are built on almost 20 years of active military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places.

Today we have discussed areas for a broadened and deepened cooperation. We have agreed upon strengthened cooperation in a number of areas:

  • The UK and Denmark will enhance cooperation on response forces – both within NATO and with rapid deployable forces for crisis response.
  • The UK and Denmark will continue cooperation in the Baltic region, including within the framework of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia and Multinational Division (North) in Latvia and in Denmark.
  • The UK and Denmark will work together to develop the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) to stand with allies and close partners and defend common values.
  • The UK and Denmark will cooperate on and train Host Nation Support to ensure fast deployment of UK forces through Danish territory in case of crises. To deter Russia from aggressive behaviour and other threats, NATO must be able to deploy forces across all its regions at the speed of relevance in order to provide timely reinforcement of allies in a crisis or a military conflict. We will enhance cooperation on military mobility through NATO, the Northern Group and bilaterally.
  • The UK and Denmark remain jointly committed to NATO-EU cooperation, with a view to building a mutually reinforcing partnership.
  • The UK and Denmark will enhance our operational cooperation, including in the North Atlantic, in such areas as air and maritime surveillance, joint training, disaster relief, intelligence-sharing and anti-submarine operations.
  • The UK and Denmark will explore opportunities for enhanced cooperation in tackling terror threats and supporting stability in Africa.
  • The UK and Denmark will cooperate on training, the operational use and maintenance of frigates based on the similar designs of the UK Type 31 frigates and the Danish Ivar Huitfeldt-class frigates.

All this serves to strengthen our common stance against threats to our common security.

We are adamant in our support for, and defence of, our common values and our freedom.

Published 8 December 2021

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