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Russia: OSCE turning into appendage of West, in ‘deplorable state’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends the 30th OSCE Ministerial Meeting in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia, on November 30, 2023. (AFP)

The Russian foreign minister says the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is in a critical situation, and its future is “unclear.”

In his address to the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje, North Macedonia, on Thursday, Sergei Lavrov said after decades of work, the organization “is now in a deplorable state, and its prospects remain unclear.”

The OSCE was founded to ease tensions between the East and the West during the Cold War. It helps its members to coordinate on issues such as human rights and arms control.

Russia accuses the organization of turning away from its founding principles.

Lavrov said after the end of the Cold War, the OSCE was supposed to become an inclusive platform for creating 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.”

“The OSCE is essentially being turned into an appendage 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?”

The foreign minister said a campaign by Western states to thwart the OSCE’s renaissance is going on by creating parallel institutions that in practice seek to alienate Russia and Belarus.

Lavrov said 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 war in Ukraine. In this sense, the European Union, 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.”

The Russian foreign minister also accused the West of waging a “hybrid war” against Russia and said the European Union had become an “aggressive political project.”

Russia says the OSCE’s agenda is “almost completely Ukrainized.”

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