An agreement has been reached between Denmark and Greenland on how they will cooperate on foreign, defence and security policy issues related to the mining and commercial export of uranium from Greenland.
The island of Greenland introduced a zero-tolerance policy concerning the mining of uranium and other radioactive elements in 1988, while under Danish direct rule. It took a step towards greater autonomy from Denmark in 2009 with the official transition from ‘home rule’ to ‘self rule’.
This saw Greenland assume full authority over its mineral and hydrocarbon rights, which had formerly been overseen by Denmark. However, Greenland remains part of the kingdom of Denmark and its defence and foreign policies are still determined by Copenhagen.
In October 2013, Greenland’s parliament voted to remove the ban on the extraction of radioactive materials, opening up the possibility for companies to begin mining uranium and rare earth minerals.
Yesterday the governments of Denmark and Greenland reached agreements concerning the export control and security of uranium and other radioactive substances from Greenland and the definition of competences in the raw materials sector.
According to a statement from the government of Greenland, “The agreements establish concrete cooperation between Denmark and Greenland, ensuring that Greenland can continue its efforts to expand its mining whilst the kingdom complies with international obligations and lives up to the highest international standards.”
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