Russia Focus Of Foreign Affairs Committee

Russia Focus Of Foreign Affairs Committee

Published August 14, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Recent events in the Russian Federation has prompted the Foreign Affairs Committee to examine what new courses of action Iceland may take.

RÚV reports that three subjects where the main focus of the committee’s discussions: Russia’s import ban of some European goods, sanctions placed against Russia by other countries, and the current armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Birgir Ármansson, the chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told reporters that he has briefed Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson on the talks thus far.

“We of course discussed the situation that has come up in the past week, where Russia issued an imported food ban against the European Union and the Nordic countries first and foremost, which doesn’t effect us,” Birgir told reporters, adding that they also discussed the possible effects of Europe hardening their stance against Russia if violence in eastern Ukraine escalates.

As Birgir points out, the import ban does not effect Iceland, as it is not on the list of countries Russia has blocked food imports from. Gunnar Bragi, for his part, was not very worried about the matter.

“We haven’t had any talks with Russia over this, and I don’t know why we should,” he told reporters. “Everyone knows Iceland’s position in this case.”

Birgir also expressed a wait-and-see point of view about Iceland and Russia.

“If it happens that Russia takes some measures that affect us, then we’ll talk to them,” he said. “But we’re not trying to get on the [ban] list.”

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