The two Prime Ministers met to discuss Iceland’s sanctions against Russia, and Russia’s retaliatory sanctions against Iceland.
MBL reports that Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson emphasised to Dmitry Medvedev that Russia’s sanctions will have a proportionately larger effect on Iceland than it will on other, larger countries who took part in the EU sanctions against Russia.
“We had a good conversation,” the Icelandic PM said in a statement to the press. “We discussed the situation that has come up and agreed that it would be best for officials of both countries to continue communications with each other. There are tremendous interests at stake, and the Icelandic government put them at the forefront.”
As reported, Russia made the formal decision to stop buying Icelandic products in light of Iceland’s participation in trade sanctions against Russia, which were themselves initiated as a response to Russia’s activities in the Crimea and Ukraine.
This will mean Russian markets will no longer be open to lamb, fish and horse meat, and will be turned away from Russian ports. There are numerous business interests at stake where Russia’s trade ban is concerned, most of them from the fishing industry – Russia bought 10% of Iceland’s fish exports last year.
However, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Gunnarsson remains decided that Iceland’s participation in the sanctions is “a matter of principle” and will not be reviewed.