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US sends aid to Greenland

US sends aid to Greenland

The United States reported on Thursday a $12.1 million package of economic assistance to Greenland aimed at improving bilateral relations and reinforcing a revived US bid for greater military presence in the Arctic.

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To improving relations with Greenland drew criticism from Denmark which rejected US President Donald Trump's offer to buy the vast Arctic island as absurd less than a year ago.

Greenland, which received the money on Thursday, is becoming increasingly valuable because of a Russian and Chinese exchange for the US military and for the US ballistic missile early warning system.

The help program aims in specific natural resource and education fields.

Greenland is an independent Danish region, home to just 56,000 people but it is rich in natural resources. With its tiny economy heavily dependent on fishing, Denmark depends on annual grants from the island, which has no roads between its 17 towns and one commercial international airport.

Soren Espersen, a member of the Danish parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs for the opposition party The Danish People's Party, called the US offers Greenland and Denmark an insult.

A former U.S. State Department official refuted Washington's attempts to build tensions at a briefing on Thursday, claiming that the US has been working closely with Denmark on this initiative for months.

This year the United States plans to open a consulate for the first time since 1953 in Greenland's capital Nuuk.

Russia has stepped up its military capabilities in the Arctic, while China calls itself a 'near Arctic state' and has laid out plans for a Polar Silk Road based on new Arctic shipping routes and natural resources exposure.

Maritime Business World 

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