Russia and Iceland are committed to maintaining dialogue and searching for ways to overcome the downturn in bilateral trade and economic relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday following meetings held by First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov in Reykjavik.


On August 23-24, Titov held talks with Iceland’s President Gudni Johannesson and Foreign Minister Lilja Alfredsdottir. He also held consultations with the country’s Permanent Secretary of State Stefan Johannesson and met with representatives of the business community.


“(The two sides) discussed the current situation in bilateral relations caused by the fact that Iceland joined Western sanctions against Russia, which led to stagnation in cooperation,” the ministry said. “At the same time, they pointed to the importance of maintaining the dialogue and searching for ways of overcoming the decline in economic and trade ties and promoting cultural and humanitarian projects.”


Moscow and Reykjavik expressed mutual interest in deepening cooperation within the Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Northern Dimension project and the Council of Baltic Sea States intergovernmental forum. Iceland currently chairs this organization.


“(The two sides) synchronized their approaches towards pressing international issues, including European security, relations between Russia and NATO, the situation in Ukraine and the settlement in Syria,” the Russian Foreign Ministry added.