Iceland–Russia relations

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Iceland-Russia relations
Map indicating locations of Iceland and Russia


Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and Vladimir Putin (2017-03-30) 01.jpg

Iceland–Russia relations is the relationship between the two countries, Iceland and Russia. Russia has an embassy in Reykjavík. Iceland has an embassy in Moscow, and two honorary consulates in Murmansk and Saint Petersburg. Both countries have close ties in financing, which has strengthened the relations between the two.[1]


Iceland recognized the Soviet Union on June 22, 1926.[2] In 1927, the governments of both countries exchanged notes about commercial relations, granting each other favorable trade conditions.[3] Direct diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Iceland were established on October 4, 1943.[4][5] In December 1955 the missions in Moscow and Reykjavik were upgraded to embassies. From 1975 to 1991 a trade representative of USSR was in Iceland and Russia had one in Iceland from 1991 to 1995.[4] In 1997 the first Russian-Icelandic dictionary was published by Helgi Haraldsson.[6]

The intersection of the interests of the Soviet Union and Iceland fishery began after World War II, so that already in 1949, to the shores of Iceland was sent for fish Soviet expedition of four vessels[7] The Soviet scientists have made a great contribution to the study of Iceland. In 1971-1973 he worked in the island complex geodynamic Soviet expedition in the "Geodynamic Project", which was headed by Vladimir Belousov. The first geological map of Iceland was drawn up on the results of operations. At the same time the study was carried out of the seabed in waters surrounding the island.

Former President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson went to Russia from April 18, 2002 to April 24, 2002. Grimsson visited Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Novgorod and Salekhard.[4][8]

In 2008 Prime Minister Geir Haarde has sent a delegation to Russia to negotiate a £3bn (€4bn) capital injection into the country's finances, after the country's traditional Western allies refused to help the collapsing banking system.[9] The loan was later renegotiated to $500 million after Iceland managed to secure loans from Scandinavian countries and the International Monetary Fund, but finally Russia refused to lend any amount to Iceland.[10]

Cooperation between the two countries is developing in different directions:

  • inter-parliamentary cooperation,
  • trade and economic relations,
  • cooperation in the field of fisheries in the framework of NAFO, NEAFC, IWC,
  • in the field of "clean energy" partnership (renewable energy sources)
  • cultural interaction (exchange of exhibitions, the annual Days of Russian Culture in Iceland)

Towards the end of March 2018, Iceland suspended high-level bilateral dialog with Russian authorities. As a result, leaders of Iceland did not attend the Russian World Cup in 2018. This was due to the Poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England. In a statement on their website, Icelandic officials stated that the Russian response to the attack was "severely lacking" and did not showcase as to how a nerve agent produced in Russia came to be used against civilians in the United Kingdom.[11] Unlike other countries who took action against Russia in response to the incident, Russia did not respond to Iceland's approach.

On October 2020, Russia made a deal with Iceland on some military, making sure Iceland forever has military access, making Iceland's opinions change, increasing the relations between the two countries and regaining their friendship.


In 2003 Russian-Icelandic trade was $US 89.7 million. Export from Iceland to Russia was $US 13.8 million. Import were $US 75.9 million. Russia is the 9th largest exporter to Iceland. Russian exports are raw materials: oil products (62,3%), aluminium (27%). Iceland exports to Russia ships and vessels (25,1%), sea products (23,3%), textiles and garment (14,9%), chemical fertilizers (10,8%), and industrial equipment (9,5%).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Iceland seeks Russian comfort". The Moscow News. October 10, 2008. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2009. Russia received a similar official request late on Tuesday and the country's Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was quoted by Interfax as saying: "We will consider it. Iceland has a reputation for strict budget discipline and has a high credit rating. We're looking favorably at the request." Negotiations on the loan are supposed to start on October 14
  2. ^ Leonard Shapiro: Soviet Treaty Series – A Collection of Bilateral Treaties, Agreements and Conventions, etc., concluded between the Soviet Union and Foreign Powers: Volume 1, 1917–1928, Washington (D.C.) 1955, Document No. 256: Exchange of Notes regarding de jure Recognition, Moscow, 22 June 1926, p. 319.
  3. ^ Leonard Shapiro: Soviet Treaty Series – A Collection of Bilateral Treaties, Agreements and Conventions, etc., concluded between the Soviet Union and Foreign Powers: Volume 1, 1917–1928, Washington (D.C.) 1955, Document No. 274: Exchange of Notes regarding Commercial Relations, Moscow, 25 May 1927, p. 331.
  4. ^ a b c d "Russian embassy in Reykjavík". Russia. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  5. ^ "Bilateral Relations". Iceland. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2009. Diplomatic relations were established between Iceland and Soviet Union 1943 and in the following year Embassies were opened in Reykjavík and Moscow respectively.
  6. ^ "Russnesk-islensk ordabok" (in Russian). HighBeam Research. Retrieved June 26, 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ Alexander Portsel Soviet fishing expedition to Spitzbergen and Iceland (1946-1952) // Arctic and North. — 2015. — № 18. — page 101—102
  8. ^ "Iceland leader arrives in Moscow". Interfax at the BBC. April 18, 2002. Retrieved June 26, 2009. President of Iceland Olafur Grimsson arrived in Moscow on Thursday [18 April] on the first state visit in the history of the two countries' relations. At the airport, Grimsson was greeted by head of the Russian Fisheries Committee Yevgeniy Nazdratenko.The Russian Foreign Ministry told Interfax that relations between Moscow and Reykjavik "are on the rise and are developing rapidly".Upcoming Russian-Icelandic talks are expected ...
  9. ^ Mason, Rowena (October 7, 2008). "Iceland nationalises bank and seeks Russian loan". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved June 26, 2009. Prime Minister Geir Haarde rushed emergency measures through the Nordic nation's parliament to nationalise Landsbanki and give the country's largest bank, Kaupthing, a £400 million loan to bolster its balance sheet
  10. ^ "Russia refuses $500 million loan to Iceland". Moscow. RIA Novosti. October 14, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009. Russia's government has refused to grant a $500 million loan to Iceland. Iceland originally asked Russia for a 4 billion euro ($5.8 billion) loan, but after it received most of the sum from Scandinavian countries and the IMF, the sum of the requested loan went down to $500 million
  11. ^

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