Iceland and Russia Sign Agreements in Moscow Skip to content

Iceland and Russia Sign Agreements in Moscow

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson met on Tuesday with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow. The meeting was a part of the minister’s official visit to the Russian Federation.

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Össur (left) and Lavrov. Courtesy of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Össur had earlier signed an agreement that facilitates trade in dairy products from Iceland to Russia, as stated on his ministry’s website.

The ministers spoke at length on the possibility of laying a submarine communications cable from Russia to Iceland. The Icelandic company Norline and the Russian company Polarnet are now developing joint plans to lay the cable. If an agreement is reached, a cable may be ready as early as the end of 2013.

The ministers also confirmed an agreement on cooperation on Arctic affairs. Iceland and Russia will continue to monitor the development of sea and air traffic in the region, with specific focus on trans-Arctic sailing routes and the development of port infrastructure.

Moreover, they signed a “Declaration of Modernisation” in the area of labor affairs, which aims at cooperation between authorities and experts in Russia and Iceland on mutual modernization projects. The goal is to increase trade, innovation and science in relations between the states.

They also spoke at length about a joint task force between Iceland and Russia set up to modernize the renewable energy sector, not least in terms of the use of geothermal energy in the Kamchatka Peninsula, Krasnodar and elsewhere in Russia.

The development of tourism between the two nations was discussed, specifically the hopes of the establishment of direct flights between Iceland and Russia which could start within the next two years on the basis of a recently-concluded aviation treaty.

The meeting concluded with a discussion of international affairs. Össur informed his Russian counterpart of the draft resolution presented to Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, on the recognition of the independence of Palestine this week.

Click here to read more about the vote and here to read more about Icelandic-Russian relations.

ESA

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