Iceland and Russia Draw Closer - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland and Russia Draw Closer

Published September 23, 2010

The governments of Iceland and Russia appear to be building a stronger relationship with each other, upon a foundation of mutual interests.
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who welcomed the president of Iceland as his guest yesterday, reminisced on the 1986 meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavík. Medvedev also said that he would like to visit Iceland eventually, and is particularly interested in seeing Iceland’s work on clean energy.
At the same time, Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson, who addressed a NATO leaders meeting in New York yesterday, seconded NATO chairman Anders Fogh Rassmussen’s motion for greater cooperation with Russia, saying that there is no reason for NATO and Russia to be enemies.
“Icelanders regard Russia as a strong but peaceful neighbor,” Össur said in part. “who we want to work with to a greater degree but for the same reasons as with other countries in our area, not least of all with regards to polar matters.”
The foreign minister said Iceland puts more emphasis on cooperation with Russia than ever before, as in the end, they share the same interests.

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