Politics

While Icelandic authorities are considering boycotting the World Cup, the Faroes call Russians ”friends in need”

The Icelandic government is now considering boycotting the 2018 World Cup hosted in Russia to show solidarity with the UK after a neurotoxic attack against a former spy and his daughter on British soil, reports Grapevine.is.

Grapevine writes that ”if Icelandic authorities go ahead with the boycott attempt, no Icelandic leaders would travel to Russia for the football event. The discussion is currently ongoing with what Minister of Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þorðarson calls “Iceland’s allies,” possibly referring to other Nordic countries.”

Grapevine adds ”that while the political leaders of Iceland would be missing from the supporters’ ranks, the football team itself and their supporters would still be free to travel to Russia and do some smiting—as planned”.

Meanwhile, Faroese foreign minister Poul Michelsen has already made it clear that the Faroe Islands are not going to participate in any international sanctions against Russia.

Michelsen pointed out in an interview with Kringvarp Føroya last Sunday that ”it is too unclear what this matter (the UK spy poisoning-scandal) is all about”.

Michelsen also suggested that Russia is an important customer the Faroe Islands cannot afford to lose.

He said: ”We have maintained the partnership with Russia after the EU boycotted us (in 2013), and we have felt that since Russia were there when the EU boycotted us, we cannot boycott those (the Russians) who were there when we were in need”.

In July 2013 EU imposed sanctions on the Faroe Islands due to a dispute over the fishing quota of herring and mackerel. The boycott which started on 28 August 2013 banned Faroese vessels carrying herring or mackerel from all EU ports, including Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The Faroe Islands could no longer export herring or mackerel to EU countries. The boycott was lifted on 20 August 2014 after a breakthrough in negotiations which saw the Faroese share of the total mackerel quota jump from 4.62% to 12.6%.

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