Iceland's President Offers Subtle Congratulations To Putin - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland’s President Offers Subtle Congratulations To Putin

Published March 22, 2018

Photos by
Art Bicnick/Remy Steinegger

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson offered his congratulations to Russian President Vladimir Putin on being re-elected, with a carefully coded message that seems to directly reference current events.

In Guðni’s words of congratulations to Putin, Guðni emphasised that relations between Iceland and Russia have been mutually beneficial. He states that the future of people living in northern climes is “based on sustainable development, protecting the environment, and good cooperation between the nations of this region.”

In addition, Guðni reminded Putin of the duty of leaders to provide security and prosperity for their people, saying, “It is critically important that national leaders always seek peaceful solutions wherever there is conflict, and support security, prosperity and individual freedom everywhere.” This is especially telling in light of Putin’s recent boasts of a new and improved nuclear arsenal.

Guðni is somewhat of a master at the subtle point. Shortly after Donald Trump won the US elections, Guðni also extended his congratulations, saying in part, “We unconditionally support the right to freedom of thought and expression, gender equality, and highly value equal rights for all regardless of race or religion.”

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