Danish politicians horrified by United States economic deal with Greenland

Danish politicians are aghast at what some allege is a move by the United States to undermine Denmark's influence in Greenland months after Donald Trump expressed interest in buying the Arctic territory. 

US President Donald Trump's administration has announced a NZD$19.9 million financial aid package to boost Greenland's economic development and that it will also establish a consulate in the capital of Nuuk. Greenland's Prime Minister has welcomed the support.

"It takes time to develop closer relationships with other countries. But this good news is confirmed that our work on building a constructive relationship with the United States is bearing fruit," Prime Minister Kim Kielsen said.

"It is positive that the increased cooperation between Greenland and the US is reflected in a tangible result in the form of funding for projects in Greenland."

But the package has sparked concern that the United States may be making a move to garner support in Greenland and lure the nation away from relying upon Denmark, of which it is an autonomous territory. 

Last year, Trump created a furore when it was revealed he had expressed an interest in purchasing Greenland. The proposition was called "absurd" by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, which riled Trump up so much he postponed a meeting with her and called her response "nasty" and "inappropriate".

"The United States is clearly working to undermine the [Realm] community. They have always been on a long leash, but there is a limit, and in the end they may not be present at all in Greenland unless they put that agenda on the shelf. It is totally unacceptable," tweeted Rasmus Jarlov, a Conservative Danish MP and former minister.

Danish media outlet The Local cites Karsten Hønge, a socialist politician, as also saying it was "over the line". 

"The Prime Minister must take steps to ensure that we establish some clean boundaries in relation to the US," he said.

"They cannot threaten Greenland. They cannot buy Greenland. Now they are trying to woo the Greenlandic public, so that at some point they will naturally choose the US as a partner."

A US senior state department official is reported anonymously by the Financial Times as not being sure what  "everyone is all worked up about or why people are upset". He added there was no plan to purchase Greenland.

Trump was last year reportedly interested in the icy territory's abundant resources and geopolitical importance. The state official said Russia is building up its military in the Arctic and the US is also concerned China may "winkle their way" into Greenland. 

The US President's attempt to purchase the island isn't the first by an American President. 

A Danish historian claims that Denmark's Government turned down an offer in 1946 from the United States.