Today, Iceland will become the first nation to suspend its embassy operations in Moscow. Iceland also asked Russia to scale
Today, Iceland will become the first nation to suspend its embassy operations in Moscow. Iceland also asked Russia to scale back diplomatic activities in Reykjavik.
The Icelandic ministry cited an “all-time low” level of commercial, cultural and political relations between the two countries as the reason behind the closure. The foreign ministry clarified that diplomatic relations have not been severed, adding that the embassy will be reopened once relations normalize. However, Russia’s foreign ministry responded saying that Iceland’s decision “destroys” bilateral cooperation and that it would “respond.”
When Russia first invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea in 2014, Iceland quickly imposed economic sanctions on Moscow, despite potential consequences on its heavily fishing-reliant economy. While Iceland has no standing army and a non-weapon sales policy, since 2022 it has aided allied nations in transporting essential equipment to destinations like Poland, and the country donated three field hospitals to Ukraine.
Iceland’s dogged support shows no country is too small to contribute to Europe’s collective defense, despite saber-rattling from Moscow and heightened Russian Air Force activity across northern Europe in recent years. However, expect to see Moscow retaliate, likely by reciprocating embassy closures or reintroducing trade embargoes.