Copenhagen: What does Greenland’s change in power have to do with world politics?

Copenhagen: What does Greenland's change in power have to do with world politics?

Some send nuclear submarines under the ice, others dream of a “polar silk route” – and a former US president, as is well known, even wanted to buy Greenland. World powers America, Russia, and China have been extending their powerful weapons in the direction of the Arctic for a long time. This effect is about shipping routes, which are becoming more and more dysfunctional due to climate change and valuable raw materials in the Arctic – and it is precisely with these raw materials that the new government comes into play in Greenland.

The fact that the world’s largest island is currently experiencing the transformation of government sounds from a distant universe like news – but it also has consequences for building the world’s superpowers and electrical equipment that almost everyone Are in the pocket of It is nothing that the Kingdom of Denmark, of which Greenland is officially, is pointing to the scope of parliamentary elections from which a new coalition is now emerging.

Danish newspaper “Politiken” calls election historic

The long-standing social democratic party Cement has lost its dominance. Instead, the most leftist Greenlandic party, the Inuit Atakatigit (IA), will rule in the future, headed only by the 34-year-old Mute Bee Agede, and combine with junior partner Nalrek. Agde and Nalrek boss Hans Enoksen signed a coalition deal late on Friday night.

What does this have to do with international politics and ultimately electrical appliances? An Australian company called Radioactive Uranium, particularly rare earths, which are used in electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones and cameras, but also for wind turbines and e-cars, a sighting near Narsac in South Greenland Planning in the area. According to the company, it has one of the largest reserves of such rare earths worldwide. This could bring jobs to Greenland and an annual income equivalent to around 200 million euros, but it could also have negative consequences for the environment and health. According to the surveys, most Greenlanders are against the project, as are IA and Nalrek – and this applies to China, where a raw material company holds a stake in an Australian company.

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Head of government m.  B.  Agde is in his office.  After the formation of a new coalition in Greenland, the future head of the government, Mutay b.  Agde designated solving social problems as an important goal.  (Archive image)

Head of government m. B. Agde is in his office. After the formation of a new coalition in Greenland, the future head of the government, Mutay b. Agde designated solving social problems as an important goal. (Archive picture) | Picture: Julia Weischenbach / DPA

Independence of greenland

Opponents of the project not only harm people and nature, but also that Greenland will become dependent on Beijing. Freedom has long been a central issue for Greenlanders.

“Greenlandic politicians talk about independence,” says Ulrik Pram Gad, a researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies in Copenhagen, “It’s also about, or almost always is, sharing dependency. “” Denmark takes up a lot of space on the horizon when you look at the world from Greenland. “The fact is that the island received a US investment of $ 12.1 million a year ago – but its trade with Beijing is also growing. Tha. Pram Gad says the election means the Narsak project will be closed. “But Greenland is not only open for business, but above all other mining projects.”

Arctic as controversial issue

Although China is not a country bordering the Arctic, it is still trying to consolidate its influence in the region around the North Pole. In a position paper three years ago, the People’s Republic first described itself as a “state close to the Arctic”. Beijing also initiated an investment program dubbed the “Polar Silk Road” with an aim to expand its influence in the region.

In 2020, China sent its second icebreaker to the region. It also announced that it would launch a satellite by 2022 to monitor shipping routes and track sea ice changes. However, interest repeatedly met with disapproval from several Arctic states: Finland, for example, blocked China’s plans to buy an airport in the area. Canada refused to buy a gold mine from a Chinese company.

In May Russia will chair the Arctic Council, a forum for cooperation in the region. Defense Minister Frankfurt Shoigu wants to use this time “to strengthen our country’s role as coordinator and initiator of many programs in the region”. Moscow is already flexing its muscles once again: Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin was recently briefed on a naval maneuver – shortly after three nuclear submarines climbed under meter-thick ice at the same time She went. The message is clear: Russia will not allow the Arctic to be disputed. The vast empire makes nuclear-powered icebreakers and claims up to 1.2 million square kilometers – especially on raw materials such as oil and gas.

Election workers counted the ballots.  Parliament in the Greenlandic capital Nuuk agreed in mid-February that a new election would be brought forward a year in the wake of the collapse of the governing coalition.  (Archive image)

Election workers counted the ballots. Parliament in the Greenlandic capital Nuuk agreed in mid-February that a new election would be brought forward a year in the wake of the collapse of the governing coalition. (Archive picture) | Picture: Emil Helms / DPA

The United States has long been suspicious of going-ons in the north of Russia and China. Even for Washington, the Arctic is of great strategic importance. The title of a US Army strategy paper speaks volumes: “Achieving domination in the Arctic”. In early April, the Pentagon said it was closely monitoring Russia’s military activities in the Arctic. The region is important for defense and “potential strategic corridors” between the Indo-Pacific, Europe and the United States.

US President Joe Biden has not yet commented on his Arctic strategy. In terms of security policy, however, he should pick up where his predecessor Donald Trump left off: with an effort to curb Russia and China’s influence in the Arctic. Tensions with Beijing and Moscow are also high under Biden, but he generally approaches confrontations differently: not on his own, but in coordination with international partners. In this regard, US Arctic policy is likely to rely more on cooperation again under bizarre single advances under Trump – as in the summer of 2019 he suggests that the US can only buy Greenland.

(dpa)

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