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Icelandic Government Boycotts World Cup in Russia

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Icelandic Government Boycotts World Cup in Russia

Foreign Affairs Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson

Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson. Photo: Golli.

The Icelandic government has postponed all bilateral meetings with Russian officials and will not send any Icelandic officials to the World Cup in Russia this June, RÚV reports. The actions are in response to a nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, for which Russia is believed responsible.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs announced the decision in a statement released yesterday. “The attack is a serious violation of international laws and a threat to security and peace in Europe,” the statement reads. “The reaction of the Russian government to the attack has so far been untrustworthy and their statements implausible.”

Several EU member states and Nordic countries have taken similar actions against the Russian government. Iceland is not, however, expelling Russian diplomats, as several other countries have done in response to the attack.

Russia Ambassador to Iceland Anton Vasiliev was called to a meeting yesterday where he was informed of the decision and discussed the situation with Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson. “We do not want this incident to have serious consequences for Iceland and Russia’s strong relations. I am sure they will continue to be so,” Vasiliev stated.

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