Greenland’s government has struck a deal with Denmark over funding for upgrades to three airports on the Arctic island, a project of strategic interest to a number of international players including China and the United States.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen on Monday confirmed the agreement reached with Kim Kielsen, Greenland’s premier, during an impromptu visit to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.
A self-governing Danish territory and the world’s largest island, Greenland has control over areas including mineral resources and social policy, while Denmark maintains responsibility for foreign policy and security.
«With the agreement, we promise to take advantage of the fact that the Commonwealth offers many opportunities,» Rasmussen said in a statement on Twitter.
The deal will see Denmark contribute to an estimated 3.6bn kroner ($559m) revamp of airports in Nuuk, Qaqortoq in the south, and Ilulissat, the island’s main tourism spot, aiming to help Greenland capitalise on Arctic tourism and cater for flights between Europe and North America.
NOTE: A government-owned Chinese firm has put forward a bid to build a new airport in Greenland, which some analysts fear could threaten a vital U.S. Air Force base located in the country.
Home to only about 56,000 inhabitants, Greenland is a constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark and relies heavily on air travel. As a result, the country’s autonomous government is seeking to build a new airport, which will cost an estimated $560 million.
The China Communications Construction Company, which is owned by Beijing’s government and was previously blacklisted by the World Bank, has put forward a bid to build the new airport, Defense News reported. Denmark, a close ally of the U.S., has objected to the proposal and maintains a final say on national security issues. But Greenland’s local government has pushed back, insisting the Chinese bid receive serious consideration. (Source: Newsweek)