Russia says Iceland ‘destroys’ ties by suspending embassy operations

By Reuters - June 12, 2023
A view shows a sign at the Embassy of Iceland in Moscow, Russia June 9, 2023. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Iceland’s decision to suspend its embassy operations in Moscow “destroys” bilateral cooperation.

Iceland said on Friday the operations would be suspended from Aug. 1 due to an “all-time low” level of commercial, cultural and political relations between the countries, adding that it had asked Russia to scale back its diplomatic activities in Reykjavik.

“The decision taken by the Icelandic authorities to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia destroys the entire range of Russian-Icelandic cooperation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“We will take this unfriendly decision into account when building our ties with Iceland in the future. All anti-Russian actions of Reykjavik will inevitably be followed by a corresponding reaction,” it added in a statement.

When announcing its decision, Iceland said diplomatic relations had not been severed and that the embassy would be reopened once relations normalise.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Helen Popper)