Iceland Ceases Diplomatic Work in Russia, Closes Moscow Embassy

Iceland has followed up on a decision made in June by announcing the closing of it’s embassy in Russia, they attributed this decision to a low point in trade, as well as cultural and political relations. A TASS reporter has confirmed the flag was removed, all plaques removed from the building, no one in sight and no cars parked near the building.

“The current situation simply does not make it viable for the small foreign service of Iceland to operate an embassy in Russia,” Foreign Minister Thordis Gylfadottir said at the time of the original statement on June 9th. They added then as well that diplomatic relations have not been severed and the embassy would be reopened once relations normalize.

“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 in June. “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,”.

Iceland also requested in June that Russia “limit the operations of its Embassy in Reykjavik <…> and that the level of diplomatic representation be lowered.” However, Iceland’s Foreign Ministry pointed out that “a decision to suspend the operations of the Embassy of Iceland in Moscow does not constitute a severance of diplomatic relations… As soon as conditions permit, Iceland will prioritize the resumption of operations of the Embassy of Iceland in Moscow,”.