| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

OSCE limps through another year as Russia relents on veto

The OSCE, which stands for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, should live on for another year after Russia, a longtime opponent, approved Malta’s bid to lead the organization in 2024 and extended the terms of four high-ranking officials.

An organization created during the Cold War to facilitate communication between the east and west has been replaced by the OSCE. But Russia has utilized what is essentially a veto that every nation possesses in recent years to thwart numerous important decisions, frequently destroying the organization, particularly since it invaded Ukraine.

Russia spent months preventing NATO member Estonia from becoming the next OSCE chair as originally planned. A last-minute deal for Malta to take over was reached this week and signed off on at Friday’s meeting of foreign ministers and other officials from OSCE states hosted by current chair North Macedonia in its capital Skopje.

“Today is a success for the OSCE. In the current circumstances, finding common ground on any topic is a challenge and I will not pretend otherwise,” Secretary-General Helga Schmid, one of four senior OSCE officials extended in their jobs days before their mandates expired, told a news conference.

  • Reuters