Iceland holds firm on Russia embargo

Armed men in front of the Crimean Parliament in March ...

Armed men in front of the Crimean Parliament in March 2014. Photo: AFP/Genya Savilov

Increased cooperation between Russia and the West in the fight against terrorism has no bearing on the current embargo situation between Iceland and Russia, according to government sources.

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, has clearly stated that Iceland’s Ministry of Trade is not looking into changes to the embargo between the two countries, which is estimated to be costing Iceland billions of króna (ISK) in lost fisheries revenue.

Russia banned imports of Icelandic food products back in August in retaliation for Iceland’s support for EU sanctions against Russia.

Any change in policy is dependent on Russian observance of the Minsk Protocol, an agreement requiring a ceasefire in Crimea, says Sveinsson.

“It is important for Russia to comply with the Minsk Protocol. Only then can we begin to lighten the embargo,” he states.

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