After 100 years, the island of Hans in the Arctic Ocean was divided
The territorial dispute between Denmark and Canada over the island of Hans, called the Whiskey War, has been resolved. As incredible as it sounds, the European Union and Canada already have a land border.
The island of Hans, located in the territorial waters of Canada and Denmark, is located in the middle of the Kennedy Strait Arctic Ocean. For many years, his affiliation has been the subject of controversy between Denmark and Canada. The “intelligent war”, or “whiskey war”, as it is known, consisted of periodically changing the national flags of the two countries on the island.
Following the agreement, Denmark will control 60% of the island and Canada 40%. The agreement was signed by the leaders of both countries.
The war in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean lasted more than a hundred years The small rock called Hans (Hans Island, Ile Hans) with an area of 1.3 square kilometers is just a cobblestone piece of land where no one lives and nothing grows. But for the participants in the dispute, the question is fundamental – even a piece of stone can not be given to another country just like that.
In the beginning, the island did not belong to anyone. The Inuit locals have always known of its existence, but did not attach much importance to such barren land. In the early 1920s, a Danish expedition explored the area and in 1933, along with all of Greenland, added the island to its kingdom. The logic was simple: the island belongs to Greenland, and Greenland belongs to Denmark, which means that the island is also owned by the kingdom, decided in the Danish parliament.
Fifty years later, Denmark and Canada began negotiations on a maritime border between the two countries
In order for the contract to be completely fair, the division had to be done by computer. It would clarify to the millimeter where the middle passes between the territories and put a border right in the center. The computer did its job, crossing the center of Hans in two equal parts.
The agreement between Denmark and Canada included a line divided into 127 segments. The section between the 122nd and 123rd points is omitted – this is where the island of Hans is located, which caused the misunderstanding between the two countries. At the same time, the Canadian oil company sent its research team to the island to study the ice. Learning of this, the situation between the two countries worsened. Perhaps in addition to oil, other valuable treasures were hidden on the small island. In that case, the omission of the agreement could not be allowed. The parties convened a council again and agreed not to conduct any research so as not to escalate tensions.
In 1984, Denmark sent a warship to the area. . The military hoisted the Danish flag on the island, leaving a bottle of Danish schnapps under it and a note: “Welcome to the Danish island!”.
As soon as the Canadian team noticed the insidious act of their neighbors, they sent their “gift” to the island – changed the Danish flag to Canadian, and left on the ground bottles of Canadian whiskey “Canadian Club”. This is why the Hans Island dispute has been called the “whiskey war” or the “alcohol war” between Denmark and Canada.
The war lasted for over 30 years, and all the while one or the other side sent its own team, which drank the alcoholic property of the “enemy”, then declared the territory its own and replaced the foreign flag with its own. Knowing that the second country will undoubtedly return to the island sooner or later, the first remains there its national drink: the Danes – schnapps, and the Canadians – whiskey.