OSCE summit/ There will be no Blinken-Lavrov meeting

2023-11-30 09:30:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
OSCE summit/ There will be no Blinken-Lavrov meeting
Illustrative photo

Russia's military aggression against Ukraine and the need for a functional organization in times of conflict and increased tensions were the main topics discussed at the informal dinner in the framework of the opening of the OSCE summit. Present were the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, the Foreign Ministers of the EU countries, Great Britain and partner countries from the Mediterranean, the Near East and Asia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was absent from the dinner, as the Russian delegation arrived in Skopje late on Wednesday (29.11.2023). 

Blinken: We support the strengthening of democracy 

The American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, met the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovacevski and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, as part of the summit. He said that the United States of America strongly supports North Macedonia on its path to EU membership and the strengthening of democratic institutions. 

"We strongly support your Euro-Atlantic integration, we support the work to strengthen your democratic institutions, we support the work you do for the energy diversification of the region and beyond that will have a great impact. In all of this you can count on the support of the US- as a strong partner. This is one of the reasons why I am here tonight, not only for the OSCE, but also for North Macedonia, and to show how much we value the partnership we have," Blinken emphasized.  

Osmani: We stand united in supporting Ukraine 

The Chairman of the OSCE and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Osmani, in the meeting with the American Secretary of State, Blinken, strongly condemned the Russian military aggression and expressed strong support for the Ukrainian people. 

"As NATO's strategic partners and allies, we stand united in supporting Ukraine and defending democratic values ??and principles. We strongly condemn Russian military aggression, which represents an attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and a serious threat to peace and stability in the world", said Osmani. 

Borrell: Lavrov in Skopje should hear why Russia is isolated and sanctioned 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov should hear from the participants at the Skopje Summit why Russia is isolated and sanctioned. From Skopje we must convey the messages to the Kremlin, said the European diplomat, Josep Borell. 

"This is a good opportunity for Lavrov to hear why Russia is condemned and isolated, and then he can go back to the Kremlin and tell the head of the Kremlin that the EU and the OSCE remain united in condemnation of Russia's aggressive and illegal behavior," Borrell declared. 

Borrell said he understands countries like Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, which decided to boycott the Summit because of Lavrov's participation, but he also understands Skopje for the decision to allow his participation. 

"I understand that some participating countries were not happy with your decision to participate Minister Lavrov, I understand, because with Russia's illegal war against Ukraine, it is undermining the same principles of the OSCE and violating the laws , and is therefore facing international sanctions and isolation. However, Skopje's decision to allow Lavrov's participation is consistent with our shared goal of keeping multilateralism alive," Borrell stressed. 

Diplomatic sources in Skopje inform that the Russian delegation to the OSCE Summit will have up to 85 people, including the Foreign Minister's personal doctor, his deputy Aleksandr Grushko, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, security personnel and 24 Russian journalists. 

Ministers participating in the Skopje Summit unanimously condemn Russia 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Annalena Baerbock, stated that she is traveling to Skopje to oppose "Russian imperialist madness", adding that Europe needs more cooperation and security. She emphasized that she understands the Baltic countries and Ukraine about the problem they have sitting at the same table with Lavrov, but also added that he intends to do everything necessary to prevent Russia from destroying the OSCE. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Elina Valtonen, estimates that the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje will be an opportunity for countries to show their support for Ukraine and condemn Russia's military aggression. She emphasized that with this war, Russia has violated the common basic principles, on the basis of which the OSCE is based. 

There will be no Blinken-Lavrov meeting 

The secretary of the American department, Blinken, left Skopje after dinner to travel to Israel. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, also left Skopje. This means that at the OSCE Summit in Skopje there will be no direct meetings between Blinken, Borrell and Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov./ DW

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