Arctic security key in upcoming defence agreement: acting Danish defence minister

Acting Danish Minister of Defense Troels Lund Poulsen (right) and the Faroe Islands’ Foreign Affairs Minister Hogni Hoydal (left). (Ministry of Defence)

Security in the Arctic and the North Atlantic will be a key focus in the upcoming Danish defence agreement, Denmark’s acting Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said on a visit to the Faroe Islands this week.

Copenhagen is currently working on the successor the country’s 2018 to 2023 Defence document.

“We have moved closer together in the Commonwealth when it comes to security,” Poulsen said in a news release.

“I want a close dialogue with the North Atlantic governments in particular in connection with the upcoming defence settlement. This also applies to the North Atlantic members of parliament. Together, we must ensure that the Defence’s tasks continue to be carried out satisfactorily in the Arctic and the North Atlantic.”

Denmark’s Ministry of Defence said the Russian invasion of Ukraine makes close cooperation between Copenhagen and the Faroe Islands more important than ever. 

“The security policy situation in our region is serious, and the rules-based world order is under pressure,” the ministry said in a statement. “Therefore, security in the Arctic and the North Atlantic is an important theme in the upcoming defence settlement.

Warning radar project also discussed 

Poulsen met with his Faroese counterpart Hogni Hoydal on Monday in the archipelago’s capital city of Torshavn and also spoke at length about the planned air warning radar on Sornfelli, that was first announced in 2022.

A file photo of Sornfelli, the mountain in the Faroe Islands where the new radar will be set up. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images)

The radar will be located on Sornfelli, a mountain about 18 kilometres away by road from the Faroe Islands capital city of Torshavn.

The location was a previous radar site that ceased operations roughly 15 years ago.

When the new radar is set up, it will have  a range of up to 400 kilometres and will help close lingering air space surveillance gaps between the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland and the United Kingdom. 

The Danish Ministry of Defence said the system will help the Norwegian Armed Forces’ surveillance of the North Atlantic.

“The enormous extent of the Arctic and the North Atlantic makes close security cooperation with the Faroe Islands and Greenland necessary,”  Poulsen said.  “Therefore, I welcome the Faroese commitment to re-establish an air warning radar at Sornfelli, as it is a significant contribution to our common security.”

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

CanadaInt’l arctic cooperation needs to continue despite rupture with Russia: Canada’s GG,The Canadian Press

FinlandRussian cyber attacks, espionage pose growing threat to Finnish national security, Yle news

Greenland: Growing focus on Arctic puts Greenland at higher risk of cyber attacks: assessment, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Iceland authorizes U.S. submarine service visits, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norway expels 15 intelligence officers at Russian Embassy, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian Arctic rescue exercise attended by observers from Iran and Saudi Arabia, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Russian spy ships surveying Nordic energy infrastructure, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. nominates Alaskan as first Arctic ambassador, Eye on the Arctic

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