Murmansk terminates sister city relations with Akureyri

With about 300,000 inhabitants, there are nearly as many people in Murmansk as the entire population of Iceland (370,000 inhabitants). (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Russia’s war aggression isolates the country’s largest Arctic city. Previously, the Nordic cities Luleå, Rovaniemi and Tromsø have all terminated sister cities agreements. Today, Murmansk itself decided to cut ties with Akureyri.

The Council of Deputies in Murmansk on Thursday unanimously voted to terminate the sister city agreement with Akureyri, Interfax reports.

The agreement, in place since 1994, is called off as a reciprocal measure, according to the vote.

Akureyri, Iceland’s northernmost city, in November debated its relations with Murmansk and issued a statement condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The town council proposed to end the friendship agreement, newspaper Vikubladid reported.

The response from Murmansk came quick.

“Stop this war”

Rovaniemi in northern Finland was first of the Nordic neighbors to terminate its twin city status with Murmansk a short week after Russian troopers attacked Ukraine on February 24.

In the same decision, Rovaniemi city council decided to donate €10 to Ukraine for each citizen, in total €70,000.

In September, Luleå in northern Sweden put an end to relations with Murmansk and in October, Norway’s largest city above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø, ended its 1972 agreement with Murmansk.

Tromsø Mayor, Gunnar Wilhelmsen, had one last message to Murmansk: “Stop this war!”

In the circumpolar north, Norway’s small town of Vadsø is now the only sister city to Murmansk.

Related stories from around the North: 

Norway: Tromso terminates friendship agreements with Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Nadym, The Independent Barents Observer

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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