Warsaw, Poland – U.S. President Donald Trump could scrap his planned visit to Poland following his recent spat with Denmark over the fate of the island of Greenland.
Trump’s Poland visit might be off the table
Quoting sources from the White House, The Washington Post reported that “it remained unclear whether Trump will still go to Poland” after he abruptly cancelled a state-visit to Copenhagen.
An anonymous advisor to the U.S. President said that Trump is “annoyed at planned back-to-back trips to Europe and the extensive flying involved”, adding that he “is not looking forward to any of it”.
In Europe, Trump will also attend the G7 summit to be held in the French city of Biarritz this week-end.
U.S. President “not looking forward to any of it”
Donald Trump was initially scheduled to make a two-day visit to Poland to attend, alongside other European and world leaders, the commemorations of the beginning of World War II in Warsaw, on August 31 and September 1.
But his trip and European tour have been put into jeopardy after he cancelled a visit to Denmark planned right after, in early September, following a spat with the country’s Prime Minister over the fate of Greenland.
Denmark calls Trump’s plans to purchase Greenland “absurd”
Trump abruptly called off the state visit to Copenhagen after Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen dismissed his idea of buying Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, as “absurd”.
Talking to reporters, the U.S. President, whose suggestion was met with a mix of anger, bemusement and mockery in Denmark and on social media, said that her reaction was “nasty” and “inappropriate”. He added: “She’s not talking to me. She’s talking to the United States of America. You don’t talk to the United State that way, at least under me”.
On Twitter, he wrote: “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting”. He went on: “The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct”.
The Danish leader later reiterated that Greenland was not for sale and that the idea had “clearly been rejected” by its leader, Kim Kielsen, “a position I share of course”. She nevertheless said she was hopeful that this won’t “change the character of our good relations”.
Greenland, a strategic territory for control of the Arctic routes
During the week, the U.S. President intensified his attacks against the small Nordic country: “For the record, Denmark is only at 1.35% of GDP for NATO spending. They are a wealthy country and should be at 2%”, he wrote on Twitter, using his most frequent line of criticism against European allies.
A resource-rich island, the autonomous Danish territory of Greenland has long been seen by the United States as a strategic land, as the U.S. – and other world powers like China and Russia – compete to increase their influence over the Arctic routes.
Decades ago, U.S. President Harry Truman had also considered the possibility of purchasing the island.
To learn more about the status of Greenland, why Trump might be interested in buying it, why it’s not for sale per se and how come buying countries is, actually, still a thing, you can check out this Vox recap on the whole issue.