Russia clashes with U.S. and Western Europe during Brussels talks

The final day of the OSCE talks in Brussels saw more clashes over the organisation's future and Russia's policy in Georgia and Moldova. Moscow has made its position clear: the OSCE needs an urgent overhaul to survive.


Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has become too focused on humanitarian issues, neglecting political, military, and economic cooperation.

No compromise was found for the ongoing conflict over Russia's peacekeeping activities. While the U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Nicolas Burns, called for a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from the breakaway republics of Georgia and Moldova, Mr Lavrov accused the OSCE of unilateral efforts to push through what he called 'politicised solutions' to conflicts in former Soviet Republics.

There was also disagreement over the Russian-backed bid for Kazakhstan to chair the organisation in 2009. The U.S. is concerned Kazakhstan's democracy and human rights record fall short of the OSCE standard.