Hoppa yfir valmynd
Prime Minister's Office

Prime Minister's address at a special session of Althingi with the President of Ukraine - May 6th 2022

Mr. President, Dear Icelanders, Dear Ukrainians.

Dear Volodymyr: I want to thank you for your powerful and moving words. You truly embody an unbroken spirit of a nation that is under existential threat due to an unprovoked, brutal aggression. The Icelandic parliament, the Althing, has from the beginning been united in condemning in the strongest possible terms the Russian invasion of your country as a grave violation of international law and as a morally unjustified invasion of a democratic sovereign state.

Above all, it is an assault on ordinary Ukrainian people—their daily lives, their fundamental security, their hopes for the future. How different individual Ukrainian life stories could have been, if a devastating war machine had not intervened to wreak havoc on people’s lives and to destroy what was and what could be. Reckless threats to use nuclear weapons is a stark reminder of the existential threat they pose, underscoring the implications of this war for humanity as a whole. 

Mr. President: Your words challenge us to resist manufactured war narratives and to offer unreserved solidarity with Ukraine. I can assure you that the Icelandic government is prepared to do everything in its power to help the Ukrainian people during this time of exceptional need. We are resolutely part of the broad international alliance supporting Ukraine. As a non-armed country, Iceland’s support has been civilian in nature. We have primarily provided humanitarian and economic assistance and pledged to do more. Yesterday, we announced close to a doubling of Iceland’s monetary contribution to Ukraine.

We have opened our doors to Ukrainian refugees. As of last week, around one thousand Ukrainians fleeing the war have been warmly welcomed in Iceland. In this effort, we have witnessed the outpouring of support from the Icelandic people and civil societyand I want to convey my thanks to Icelanders for their dedication.

On the international stage—whether at the UN, in NATO, in the Nordic family or elsewhere —we have spoken up for Ukraine and we remain fully aligned with the EU sanction regime, putting pressure on Russia to stop this illegal war.

Given the widespread human rights abuses, this war has generated, we have pushed for investigations of war crimes. It is imperative that we bring to justice those who have perpetrated sexual violence in Ukraine. It is an example of how the war impacts women and men differently. We have to pay special attention to those women and girls who have been raped, tortured and trafficked. Iceland is prepared to do its part to assist victims of gender-based violence.

Volodymyr: As you said in your powerful speech, Icelanders and other Nordic people have had deep relations with Kiev as evidenced by Viking settlement artifacts found there, which date back to the 10thcentury. We have a long common history. Having become sovereign just a little more than century ago, Icelanders also know what independence really means for a nation’s development, possibilities, and dignity.

Our thoughts are with you, our thoughts the Ukrainian people—our duties are to you. At this perilous moment, when Ukrainians are fighting for their lives, we solidarize with you and support you—in the name of freedom, humanity, and peace.


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