Greenland rejects sale to US
© RIA Novosti. Alexander Kovalev

Greenland rejects sale to US

Greenland is open for business, but not for sale, the autonomous territory's foreign ministry said in response to the news that US President Donald Trump has expressed interest in buying the island.

Earlier, The Wall Street Journal, citing sources in the White House, reported that Trump was considering the idea of purchasing Greenland, the largest island in the world, which belongs to Denmark. Among the issues discussed was the possibility of expanding the American military presence in the Arctic, in addition to the US military base established in Thule, Greenland, in the middle of the 20th century.

"Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. We're open for business, not for sale," the Greenland Foreign Ministry tweeted.

Greenland parliamentarian Aaja Chemnitz Larsen shot down the idea of selling the island to the US and voiced her concern that it would undermine the core values of the local community.

"My answer is no, thank you. I don't think it will be useful for the development of Greenland," Danish television channel DR quotes the politician as saying.

"I am also thinking about Greenland's social values. For example, we have the right to free education. Such things will be destroyed if American values prevail," she added.

Many Danish politicians were taken aback by the US president's idea.

"If it is true that he [Trump] is working on this idea, then it is the final proof that he has gone crazy. I would say that the idea that Denmark can sell 50,000 citizens to the US is completely mad," Soren Jespersen, a representative of the Danish People's Party, told the newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Former Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lokke Rasmussen suggested it was a joke. "It must be an April Fool's Day joke… but totally out of season!" he tweeted.

Representative of the Danish Conservative Party Rasmus Jarlov also commented on Trump's idea on Twitter: "Out of all things that are not going to happen this is the most unlikely. Forget it."

Other Danish parties also renounced the idea to sell Greenland.

"Greenland is not for sale! The times when you could buy territories and people have gone. I hope that our government on behalf of the Danish society will make this clear to Trump when he comes to Denmark," Michael Aastrup of the Venstre party tweeted.