Interview with Miguel Angel Moratinos

Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Minister, acting President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has, during a two-day visit to Moscow, spoken to RT about the current row between Russia and Georgia.

Russia Today: For a while now, Russia has been pushing for the OSCE to reform some of its policies and operations. What can we expect from today’s meeting?

Miguel Angel Moratinos: We have been very much, you know, in favour of the Russian request because I think the main reason for these demands and this proposal of the Russians was because they need an organization that is updated to  21st-century challenges. So I think we agree on that. The question is how we  implement these new policies of the OSCE. We need a consensus. The OSCE is an organization of 56 members and it is not always easy to get 56 members to agree on a proposal but we are moving forward. You know, the main problem with Russia’s relations with the EU is that, to a certain extent, Russia is our neighbour, an important and essential neighbour, but at the same time Russia is an important international actor. So how do you merge both? You have to develop a neighbourhood policy with Russia, one adapted to the 21st century, different from the traditional one. We have new members of the EU that, of course, have made Russia a close neighbour of the EU. We have a special relationship with neighbours, but at the same time you maintain, you know, the role and place of Russia in the world.

RT: Thinking strategically, what are your main concerns?

M.M.: Well, there are many issues that affect the whole stability of the world. Of course, energy is one of the important issues but is not the only one. I think sometimes we are obsessed with one issue without taking into account the whole picture.

RT: Are you planning to discuss the recent dispute in Georgia-Russia relations surrounding the missile incident?

M.M.: The OSCE is the organization that, thank God, has this capacity to talk to the members, although when there are some difficulties or there is some misunderstanding, the President in office has a responsibility to bring  the parties together, to get them to understand each other, to try to solve the problem and to look to the future.

RT: You are talking about bringing two sides together to resolve this and  to discuss this even further, but there was a fact. There was a missile that landed on Georgian territory. Do you personally believe it was Russian?

M.M.: It is a very sensitive issue. Of course, we have to be very careful with any kind of statement in my position. I think it is better to draw some moral authority from the President of OSCE to bring the Russian and Georgian parties together so that they can engage by themselves. But at this stage let’s work on this spirit and we will see.

RT: Does moral authority imply getting to the bottom of it and getting involved with the investigation at all?

M.M.: Well, of course we will continue to get all the kinds of reports and information we can collect. Of course it is important to know what happened. There have been some reports from both sides, and that is the reason I decided to get my own sense of what happened. So I decided to send my special envoy because I want to have a clear objective and personal report – that is the reason. Then my envoy will report to the Parliamentary Council of the OSCE in Vienna next week in order to express what he thinks really happened. Still, it is a process that we need to finalize in the near future.