Thursday, 26 May, 2022

Lavrov points to record low level of trust among OSCE countries

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 17th February, 2022 07:42:37 PM
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Trust among member nations of the OrganiSation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is at a record low, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"I think we held very useful and meaningful negotiations with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau who arrived in Russia this time as the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. We concurred that a lot of issues have amassed in the OSCE which require urgent and necessary joint decisions. Trust among member states is probably at a record low level," he said.

The Russian Foreign Minister told this while speaking at a joint press conference following his talks with OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau on Tuesday (Feb 15) in Moscow.

"Confrontational approaches and belligerent rhetoric have now flooded our common space, and unfortunately, they so far dominate the spirit of cooperation and the culture of mutually respectful dialogue which has always been inherent in the OSCE organization since its inception, which, of course, we all want to restore," said the Russian Foreign Minister. Sergey Lavrov underscored that under the current difficult conditions, the performance of the chairmanship functions is of particular importance, and it is a great responsibility.

He recalled that on January 13 at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, Rau presented Poland’s priorities and spoke of the importance of a proactive and positive approach, searching for solutions, and rejecting mutual accusations.

Lavrov emphasised that the fulfillment of the chairmanship function is of special importance in the current difficult conditions.

He spoke about the importance of a proactive, positive approach, a search for solutions and the renunciation of mutual accusations. “I am convinced that the chairmanship should help create a unifying agenda and reach compromises.”

Lavrov said they think one of the major challenges before the OSCE is finding a common understanding of the principle of indivisibility of security which is crucial for the entire European security architecture and this principle requires that actions should be avoided that enhance security at the expense of others.

All that enshrined in many OSCE documents starting in 1994 when the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security was adopted, he said and added that the Charter for European Security was approved at the Istanbul summit in 1999.

He said that he sent a message to the foreign ministers of the European countries whose leaders signed these documents asking to explain how they understand the set of commitments called the principle of indivisibility of security. “I expect substantive replies will be forthcoming. At least I asked Zbigniew Rau not to forget to do it.”

In the context of searching for way to overcome the growing tensions in the Euroatlantic, the Russain Foreign Minister said they discussed the initiative of the Polish Chairmanship which suggested launching an informal Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue.

“We think it is an interesting proposal because it shows an understanding of the current issues and the will to do something to clear these problems from the agenda,” he said and recalled that at the current stage the key is their dialogue with the United States and the North Atlantic alliance where they are discussing long-term legal security guarantees as formulated in the draft agreements we had sent to Washington and Brussels.

Lavrov said it is necessary to conduct a broad dialogue on making the OSCE more effective in general -- to remove geographical and thematic imbalances, and to find the right, sustainable balance between the three baskets: politico-military, economic and environmental, and human.

“We hope we will be able to conduct an honest conversation on these issues with all member countries during the Polish Chairmanship.”