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President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson of Iceland

April 19, 2002, The Kremlin, Moscow

Russia and Iceland are both northern countries and have many things to discuss and great scope for cooperation on a bilateral and regional basis, President Putin said, opening the negotiations.

He recalled that Russia was among the first countries to recognise Iceland’s independence. In 1943, it established diplomatic relations with Iceland.

Following the negotiations the Presidents of Russia and Iceland met with journalists.

Problems facing the world’s leading countries and all humankind – terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and humanitarian operations – called for new mechanisms of cooperation, based on an equal footing, Mr Putin noted in his address. In that sense, he said, the NATO-Russian Council currently being mooted could be of much significance and play a great role.

After stressing Russia’s close ties with Asian countries, in particular within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Mr Putin indicated that this was paving the way for an “arc of stability” across the world, which could include many countries and help to set a very attractive pattern for international security in general.

The two Presidents expressed their intention to boost cooperation in a number of areas, especially in trade and the economy. Mr Putin remarked that both Russia and Iceland had come up with some interesting and promising forms of cooperation. Among them he named cooperation in fisheries, metal making, and power generation.

April 19, 2002, The Kremlin, Moscow