Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has told RÚV that the government will increase its expenditure on humanitarian aid next year as a result of the war in Ukraine. Katrín has condemned Russia’s invasion and recent missile strikes on Ukrainian cities.
Nuclear threats “entirely unacceptable”
After Russian President Vladimir Putin launched missile strikes on several Ukrainian cities on Monday – in response to Saturday’s attack on a bridge linking Russia with occupied Crimea – political leaders in the west have expressed their condemnation. At least 11 people have reportedly been killed and scores more have been injured, the Guardian reports.
Following news of this attack, Ukrainians in Iceland congregated in front of the Russian embassy in Reykjavík to protest. The protest’s organiser stated that “it was like the war was beginning again.”
Speaking to RÚV this afternoon, PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir observed that the war in Ukraine was obviously escalating. “We’re seeing threats of nuclear attacks, which is, of course, entirely unacceptable; we’re seeing attacks on civilians, which is, of course, also completely unacceptable. The war is intensifying.”
When asked how the government would respond to this escalation, Katrín began by saying that her cabinet had always been vocal in its condemnation of Russia’s illegal invasion on the global political stage.
“We’ve also contributed through humanitarian aid – and will continue to do so. We’re drafting plans for next year, as we don’t foresee the conflict coming to an end,” Katrín remarked. It is unclear at this time how much the government will earmark for humanitarian aid next year; according to the government’s website, Iceland has thus far contributed ISK 1 billion of humanitarian aid to the war in Ukraine.
In addition to humanitarian aid, Katrín added that Iceland has offered assistance in the form of training, with regard to the location and disposal of explosive devices, in addition to participating in other comparable projects directly related to the conflict. Katrín also mentioned Iceland’s reception of Ukrainian refugees.