OSCE head opposes expelling Russia from organization
The Secretary-General of the OSCE stresses that she is against Russia getting expelled from the organization, citing the importance of diplomacy.
It makes sense for Russia to remain a member state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in order to maintain diplomatic channels with Moscow, OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid told German television channel Welt on Monday.
"One day, we will need conversation means again. And the OSCE is the only security organization in which everyone important to the European security architecture sits at one table," Schmid said.
Schmid clarified that the OSCE did not have a suspension mechanism that would exclude Russia as "it's not an organization of like-minded people like the EU or NATO."
Furthermore, she explained that the OSCE was formed in the aftermath of the Cold War and founded by countries that had different interests with a common desire to prevent an escalation into conflict.
Keeping Russia in the OSCE doesn't mean that all members condone its actions, Schmid underlined, adding that Poland, who chaired the OSCE in 2022, put the Ukraine war on the agenda at every session.
The business was not "as usual" since the Ukraine war broke out, she stressed.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had demanded that the OSCE, claiming that Moscow remaining part of the organization was "a threat to security and cooperation in Europe."
Back in April, the OSCE suspended its Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine after Russia blocked the extension of the mission mandate on March 31.
Russian lawmaker Sergei Tsekov said, told Russian news agency Sputnik in late November that the OSCE would not be able to exclude Russia from the Parliamentary Assembly, but Western countries and Ukraine would continue making attempts to expel Russia.
According to the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, Yevheniia Kravchuk, said that Kiev had chosen to boycott the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly until it excluded Moscow.
"They do not have capacities to exclude Russia, but they will look for them," Tsekov said.
Ukraine is attempting to exert pressure on the European Union in this area, according to the MP, who added that Kiev's ideas regarding Moscow "have always been hostile."
Earlier in November, Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy leader of the Russian delegation to the OSCE, stated that Russian parliamentarians had been denied visas to attend the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's fall session in Warsaw from November 24-26.
The Polish Foreign Ministry later confirmed the information. Meanwhile, Nat Parry, the head of the OSCE Communications and Press Office, said as quoted by RIA Novosti that the decision to invite the Russian delegation, whose members are sanctioned by the EU, was made at the national level by Polish authorities.