Position Statement of the Government of the Faroe Islands

Russia’s armed attack on Ukraine

The Government of the Faroe Islands condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unprovoked and illegal armed attack on Ukraine. The aggression is an affront to international law, the respect for sovereignty and European security.

Relations between nations must be based on rules and mutual respect. Breaking these rules cannot be accepted by the international community and requires an appropriate response. The Government continuously follows the policy on sanctions by the EU and other like-minded partners across the world.

Sanctioning Russia requires new legislation in the Faroe Islands to provide the legal framework for the Government to implement sanctions. Being outside the EU, sanctions adopted by the EU are not legally binding for the Faroe Islands.

The Government has prepared legislation allowing the adoption of targeted sanctions similar to those adopted by the EU and other like-minded partners in order to compel Russia to withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine. The proposal is currently in the Faroese Parliament and expected to be adopted soon. Denying Russian vessels access to Faroese ports is part of considerations vis-à-vis sanctions again Russia.

Like most of Europe, the Faroe Islands have cooperation with Russia in several areas. Russia has been an important market for Faroese seafood exports, although these exports have decreased significantly since the Russian armed attack on Ukraine. Food exports have not so far been included in EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

Marine resources sustainability
The Faroe Islands recognize the serious security situation in Europe and the need to respond appropriately. Together with other coastal states, the Faroe Islands are a significant stakeholder in the management of some of the world’s largest fish stocks in the North Atlantic. Therefore, the Government of the Faroes must also consider long-term risks for the sustainable management of these fish stocks.

UK-Faroe Special Area
The Faroe Islands are committed to adopting measures aimed at compelling Russia to withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine. While there may be areas where the measures implemented by the Faroe Islands and the United Kingdom are not identical, there is clear agreement on why they are necessary.

With the conclusion of the maritime and continental shelf boundary agreement in 1999 between the Faroe Islands and the United Kingdom, a Special Area was established within which both Parties may exercise separate fisheries jurisdiction. This means that the discretionary rights of the Faroe Islands and the United Kingdom to establish fisheries management measures in areas under their respective national jurisdictions also extend to the Special Area.

Russia and the Faroe Islands have for more than 40 years concluded annual fisheries agreements. The fisheries agreement between the Faroe Islands and Russia applicable for 2022, which was concluded in November 2021, does not allow the Faroe Islands to restrict access of Russian vessels to the Special Area during 2022. The Faroese Government is nevertheless ready to conduct constructive talks with the United Kingdom on the management of the Special Area.

Humanitarian Aid and Displaced Persons from Ukraine
Recognising the duty to contribute to emergency relief efforts in response to the unfolding and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine, the Government has made several direct donations to organisations, such as UNHCR, helping Ukrainians temporarily displaced internally as well as externally in neighbouring countries.

The Special Act on Displaced Persons from Ukraine was adopted by the Faroese Parliament and came into force on 10 April 2022. Ukrainian nationals who have fled Ukraine on or after 24 February 2022 are eligible to apply for a temporary residence permit in the Faroe Islands. The Special Act entitles Ukrainians who receive a residence permit in accordance with the Act to temporary residence in the Faroe Islands for up to 2 years.

Working with key organisations and NGOs such as the Faroese Red Cross, the Government has coordinated efforts across departments and agencies to facilitate the arrival of displaced Ukrainians to the Faroe Islands.

In addition, Faroese civil society has responded with several initiatives and fundraising appeals, the single largest of which was the Faroese Red Cross fundraising event in late March.

29th of April 2022