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Previous cooperation

Historically, Denmark has had extensive cooperation in field of security and defence with all three Baltic States since they gained their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

To start off with, the goal was to support the Baltic States by rebuilding national structures and institutions in order to secure the states’ own ability to defend themselves and enforce their own sovereignty.

Later, the aim of the Baltic States becoming NATO member states emerged. Within the military field it was first of all the Partnership for Peace agreement that constituted a framework for cooperation, but later the so-called Membership Action Plans set the conditions for a future NATO-membership. These plans were carefully carried out and all three Baltic States became NATO-members in 2004.

Denmark contributed actively to this success with massive support in the form of material donations, education, training and counselling. It was – and still is – of primary Danish interest that the Baltic States had as close a mutual cooperation as possible which is why projects like these were supported in particular.

The first combined Baltic project was the Baltic Battalion BALTBAT, which consists of a Baltic land unit of about 500 troops trained for deployment in peace keeping operations. The project was started in 1994-95 and was supported by other NATO members under the leadership of Denmark.

The combined Baltic fleet unit BALTRON was the next Baltic project – this time under the leadership of Germany and with support from the same NATO countries as BALTBAT. The thought was here, that the Baltic States should do tasks like mine sweeping and search and rescue missions in the Baltic Sea. Denmark took substantial part in this project with material donations as well as education and training.

Hereafter followed the BALTNET initiative regarding a combined Baltic air surveillance system for both civil and military use. The idea came from the American “Regional Air Space Initiative”, where the U.S. offered to help Central- and Eastern European countries build a system where they were able to better secure flight control and thereby heighten air traffic security. In the fall of 1995 Norway accepted leadership of this project, which was rebuilt after the same model as BALTBAT and BALTRON.

Besides being engaged in the development of the combined project concepts Denmark has also contributed with donations of radio equipment, artillery, fleet units, ground equipment for flight stations and education.

The last in a row of combined Baltic project is the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) – a mutual Baltic military educational institution for academic educations placed in Estonia’s next largest city, Tartu. The project was initiated in 1998 under Swedish leadership but with extensive Danish support. Hence, the first principal was Danish.

BALTDEFCOL was – and still is – important to Denmark since it is a prerequisite for the continued development of competent officers and civil servants in the future.

Last updated 13-06-2016