Iceland & Ukraine: Refugee Committee Reaching A Conclusion, NATO Traffic Will Increase At Airport

Iceland & Ukraine: Refugee Committee Reaching A Conclusion, NATO Traffic Will Increase At Airport

Published March 3, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

As Parliament struggles with the subject of refugees from Ukraine and elsewhere, Vísir reports that the Refugee Committee is just about prepared to reach a decision on how many Ukrainian refugees to accept and when.

Easter is drawing closer and now we have Icelandic Easter Eggs back in stock!

“We have started preparations in the task [of accepting refugees] but place a lot of emphasis on closely following and examining how European nations intend to assist the tremendous number of people who are now seeking protection,” committee chair Stefán Vagn Stefánsson told reporters. There are by some estimates close to a million Ukrainian refugees seeking protection.

“We will do our utmost to keep pace with what other nations are doing,” he said. “We have started talks with municipalities to try and get an estimate of how much housing is available in the country.” He added, however, that he did not have any numbers he could provide in terms of how many Ukrainian refugees Iceland will receive, as he did not want to promise a number and then not be able to fulfill that.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has told RÚV that she has been in communication with NATO leadership, and that people in Iceland should expect that NATO air traffic through Keflavík International Airport will increase. She added that this traffic will for the most part be headed to eastern NATO countries.

“What I want to say is that in times like these, it matters a great deal to have good cooperation with other countries, which we of course have within NATO, and with the European Union even though we’re not a part of that,” she said. “We have taken full part in the punitive economic measures which were decided on within the EU, and at the same time have had good cooperation with other nations within NATO in various operations, such as the closure of our airspace [to Russian aircraft].”

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!