Russia attempting to hold OSCE hostage, chairman says
Zbigniew Rau reminded that Russia blocks important OSCE decisions (Photo:Valentyn Ogirenko/Pool/Reuters)
Russia is trying to take the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) hostage, blocking the adoption of important decisions, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Zbigniew Rau said at the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Lodz, Poland, Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform reported on Dec. 1.
"We are transferring the OSCE chairmanship in completely different conditions than it was transferred to us on Jan. 1,” the Polish minister explained.
“And this is not a matter of philosophy or priorities of the OSCE leadership, but Russia's attempts to take the OSCE hostage."
Rau also commented on the Kremlin’s accusations of bias and "destruction of OSCE principles", recalling several facts about Moscow's behavior in the organization during the war in Ukraine.
"It was Russia that in February rejected the Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue,” Rau said.
“It was Russia that in March rejected the extension of the Special Monitoring Mission mandate in Ukraine. It was Russia that in May blocked consensus on the OSCE Human Dimension Meeting. It was Russia that in June rejected the extension of the mandate of the Office of the Project Coordinator in Ukraine. It was Russia that blocked the appointment of the chairmanship in 2024 without giving any reason why Estonia would not be an acceptable candidate. What else will Russia block?”
The official added that since Feb. 24, the global community and international organizations “have been constantly tested by aggressive Russia, supported by the autocratic regime in Minsk.”
"The OSCE must stick to its course and principles; our response to such disrespect for our rules must be immediate, firm, and clear," he concluded.
The Russian delegation headed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was not allowed to attend the meeting of OSCE foreign ministers and the OSCE summit in Poland because of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
For the first time, the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting was held without a representative from Moscow.
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