| 24 June 2024, Monday |

Lavrov says OSCE security body hobbled by West

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday big problems had accumulated in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, accusing the West of spurning the chance to make the OSCE a real bridge with Russia after the Cold War.

At a news conference, Lavrov gave a long recital of Russian historical grievances against the West, saying the “reckless enlargement” of NATO had devalued the basic principles of the 57-nation OSCE, Europe’s top security and rights watchdog.

“Taking advantage of its numerical superiority in this organisation, the West has been trying for many years to, if you like, privatise it. Or perhaps it’s more correct to say it is trying to carry out a takeover raid on the OSCE, to subjugate this last platform for regional dialogue,” Lavrov said.

Poland did not grant a Russian delegation visas to attend an OSCE meeting of foreign ministers in Lodz taking place on Thursday and Friday, and said Moscow would be represented by its permanent representative to the OSCE instead.

Ukraine has also been critical of the OSCE, saying Russia should be removed from it after Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour. Kyiv also objected to the title of an event at the Lodz meeting that referred to the OSCE being at a crossroads.

“I dared to disagree with the title. OSCE is on a highway to hell because Russia abuses its rules and principles…,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

“Everything has been tried in regards to Russia: to please, to appease, to be nice, to be neutral, to engage, not to call a spade a spade. The bottom line: it would be better for OSCE to carry on without Russia.”

Speaking in Lodz, U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said Russia had “failed demonstrably to break the OSCE”.

“On the contrary, this organisation, like the U.N., has said ‘No’ to Moscow’s efforts to divide it, to paralyse it, to destroy it,” she said.

  • Reuters