STOCKHOLM, June 9. /TASS/. Iceland has decided to suspend the operations of its embassy to Russia starting from August 1, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
"The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland [Thordis Kolbrun Gylfadottir] has decided to suspend operations of the Embassy of Iceland in Moscow from August 1st," said the Foreign Ministry’s statement posted on the government’s website. "Today, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs summoned the Russian Ambassador [Mikhail Noskov] to inform him of this decision."
Furthermore, Iceland has requested that Russia "limit the operations of its Embassy in Reykjav·k" and "that the level of diplomatic representation be lowered." Nevertheless, Iceland’s foreign ministry pointed out that the decision to suspend operations of the embassy in Moscow "does not constitute a severance of diplomatic relations" with Russia. "As soon as conditions permit," Iceland "will prioritize the resumption of operations" of the embassy.
"This is not an easy decision as Iceland has enjoyed rich relations with the people of Russia <…>. However, the current situation simply does not make it viable for the small foreign service of Iceland to operate an embassy in Russia. I hope that conditions will someday allow for us to have normal and fruitful relations with Russia," the foreign minister said.
Currently, Iceland’s commercial, cultural or political relations with Russia "are at an all-time low," the ministry said in the statement.