Blinken confirms intention to attend Iceland meeting
All Arctic Council member states and indigenous groups were invited to the meeting on the condition that they keep delegations small because of the pandemic.
The council is made up of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States of America, and several other countries are observer members; including China.
Politicians coming to Iceland are subject to 'working quarantine' procedures. These are different to those for tourists or residents of the country. Blinken and Sergei Lavrov, as well as their delegations, will all be in the same working quarantine bubble and therefore free to hold meetings in person.
Relations between Russia and the USA are cool and both sides have applied sanctions and expelled diplomats over Russia’s ongoing dispute with Ukraine. Despite this, Russian president Vladimir Putin has reacted favourably to US president Joe Biden’s suggestion of a meeting between the two leaders. Finland has already offered to host such a meeting. Their foreign ministers will, it now seems likely, meet each other for the first time in Iceland.