The government of Iceland has decided to stand in solidarity with the United Kingdom and other western states and join in their coordinated response to the chemical attack in Salisbury in England earlier this month. The Salisbury attack constitutes a grave violation of international law and threatens security and peace in Europe. This is the first offensive use of nerve agent in Europe since World War II.
All of Iceland’s closest allies and partners have decided to take measures against Russia in the wake of the Salisbury attack, including the Nordic countries, most member states of NATO as well as several EU nations. Among the measures taken by Iceland is the temporary postponement of all high-level bilateral dialogue with Russian authorities. Consequently, Icelandic leaders will not attend the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.
So far, Russia’s response has been severely lacking. Russia must provide credible explanations on how a nerve agent originally produced in Soviet laboratories came to be used to attack civilians in the United Kingdom. The Government of Iceland urges Russian authorities give clear answers to important questions pertaining to the investigation and to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Earlier this afternoon, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Iceland was summoned to the Icelandic Foreign Ministry and informed of the decision.