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Greenland, Denmark hope to reach uranium deal by end of 2014

Staff writer |
An agreement on uranium extraction in Greenland is expected by the end of the year, the prime ministers of the two countries confirmed, despite tension between the two sides.

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Greenland Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond, met with her Danish counterpart, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, in Copenhagen to discuss how the two sides could work together on extracting uranium in the Arctic country, reports EurActiv. Both said they expected a cooperation agreement later in 2014 but it was clear that disagreement over Greenland's right to extract and export uranium continues to fuel tensions.

Greenland, a former Danish colony, was granted home rule in 1979. Thirty years later, the Arctic country assumed self-determination with responsibility for judicial affairs, police, and natural resources, but the Danish government is still in charge of foreign affairs, financial and security policies.

"Uranium is obviously a special commodity and therefore we need to have a cooperation agreement in this area," Thorning-Schmidt was quoted as saying by the Danish news agency Ritzau. She said the question fell under defence, foreign and security matters, on which Denmark still had responsibility in Greenland.

Ms. Hammond said that she would not let the Danish government decide and control the extraction of the precious mineral. She pointed to a report commissioned by the Greenlandic government, published in October last year, and a recent opinion by a Danish expert in constitutional law, which both concluded that the country had full sovereignty over commodities trading, including radioactive substances.


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