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30 Nov, 2023 12:24

OSCE ‘on the brink of abyss’ – Lavrov

The organization's future is now in jeopardy, mainly due to the actions of Western states, the Russian Foreign Minister has said
OSCE ‘on the brink of abyss’ – Lavrov

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has found itself in the throes of a serious crisis, and its future is unclear, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

In his address to the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje, North Macedonia, the minister lamented that after decades of work, the organization “is now in a deplorable state, and its prospects remain unclear.”

Lavrov noted that after the end of the Cold War, the OSCE was supposed to become an inclusive platform for creating a sustainable security architecture in Europe and promoting international cooperation. “Unfortunately, Western political elites, arrogating to themselves the right to shape the future of mankind, made a short-sighted choice in favor… of NATO,” he said.

The OSCE is essentially being turned into an appendix to NATO and the EU. The organization – let’s face it – is on the brink of the abyss. Here is a simple question: Does it make sense to invest energy in its revival?

In particular, he described a rigorous campaign by Western states to thwart the OSCE’s renaissance by creating parallel institutions that in practice seek to alienate Russia and Belarus, Moscow’s key ally.

Lavrov went on to say that the United States and its European allies have virtually destroyed any chance of broad-based East-West cooperation by imposing unprecedented sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. 

In this sense, the EU, which supported the restrictions, “continues to dutifully play its unenviable role and bear the brunt of the consequences of America’s Ukraine adventure, while humbly abandoning those forms of economic partnership that have ensured the [bloc’s] prosperity... for many decades”, he added.

Prior to Lavrov’s visit to the OSCE summit – his first since December 2021 – the Russian Foreign Ministry lamented that the forum’s agenda had been “almost completely Ukrainized” since the start of the conflict. Against this backdrop, the foreign ministers of all the three Baltic states, Poland, and Ukraine refused to attend due to Lavrov’s presence. Nevertheless, the top Russian diplomat has already held talks with his Armenian, Hungarian, and Austrian counterparts on the event’s sidelines.