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Iceland Closes Embassy Amid Ukraine War

Iceland closed its embassy in Moscow on Tuesday August 1 due to the conflict in Ukraine, becoming the first European country to take such a step. In early June, Icelandic Foreign Minister Thórdís Gylfadóttir had judged that “the current situation” did not allow the small diplomatic representation “to operate in Russia”.

The small Nordic country is the first in Europe to take such a step since the start of the war in Ukraine. Reykjavik would like to make it clear that this is not a severance of diplomatic relations.

Representation provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“As soon as conditions permit, Iceland will give priority to the resumption of the activities of the Icelandic embassy in Moscow,” said Icelandic diplomacy on Tuesday August 1 in a press release. Representation will now be provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Reykjavik. The day after the Icelandic announcement in June, Moscow had denounced an “anti-Russian action” and promised to respond.

“We will take this unfriendly decision into account when establishing our relations with Iceland in the future,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Nordic country of 375,000 inhabitants had an embassy in Moscow since 1944, except during the period 1951-53. Iceland had been a symbolic meeting place for East and West at the end of the Cold War, with a summit in 1986 between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev.

This article is originally published on lefigaro.fr

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