Denmark boosts defence ministry in government reshuffle

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's government on Tuesday announced a reshuffle that will see economy minister Troels Lund Poulsen take the role of defence minister, as the NATO member enters a period with heavy investments in military spending.

Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, who returned to work on August 1 following a 6-month sick leave for stress, will move from the defence ministry to become economy minister.

Poulsen, who was acting defence minister during Ellemann-Jensen's sick leave, landed a framework agreement that will significantly boost the NATO member's military spending and oversaw several donations to Ukraine, including F-16 fighter jets.

"I think this is a logical move," said political commentator Jarl Cordua.

"The defence agreement that needs to be implemented and negotiated is complex. The expectation is that it will proceed with a person who understands the issue and has built trust with the coalition parties, which Troels Lund Poulsen has already accomplished," Cordua said.

Ellemann-Jensen, who will remain deputy prime minister, has faced headwinds over the handling of an artillery arms purchase from Israel in January.

Earlier this month, he dismissed the defence ministry's permanent secretary of state and apologised for having misled parliament.

Ellemann-Jensen's Liberal Party has trailed in opinion polls since December last year, when it entered a rare reform-oriented bipartisan government with the Social Democratic Party and the Moderates.

($1 = 6.8260 Danish crowns)

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, Johannes Birkebaek and Terje Solsvik, editing by Essi Lehto, William Maclean)