icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Iceland president’s Russian skills a show-stopper at Arctic forum (VIDEO)

Iceland president’s Russian skills a show-stopper at Arctic forum (VIDEO)
The president of Iceland got a long round of applause at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg as he addressed the guests in good Russian to underline the value of friendship.

“I don’t speak good Russian. Please excuse me,” Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson said as he took the stage. But he was just being modest, as his speech impressed the native speakers with near-perfect grammar and decent pronunciation.

“I studied [Russian] many years ago. I’ve forgotten almost everything. But this is what I remember and can say – and that’s what I want to say."

There’s nothing more precious on this Earth than real friendship. Thank you very much.

The applause Johannesson got from the high-ranking guests was long and sincere.

Also on rt.com Putin talks Mueller probe, US-Russia relations & polar bears at Arctic forum

The 50-year-old had an impressive academic career before being elected president of Iceland in 2016. He worked and studied in several universities at home, in Germany, and the UK, getting a PhD in history from Queen Mary University of London in 2003.

Among the things Johannesson studied during those years was Russian, and he obviously wasn't phoning it in.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.