OSCE is not sinking, OSCE is alive

OSCE press conference/ Photo: Sloboden Pechat

The goals of this summit have been achieved - Malta was chosen by consensus as chairman for the next year, and an agreement was reached on the four main executive positions - OSCE Secretary General, ODIHR Director, High Representative for National Minorities and Representative for Media Freedom.

The OSCE is alive, the necessary solutions will be found for the further successful functioning of the Organization, whose goal is to preserve the peace of more than one billion people living in the member countries, said the participants of the 30th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation, which from Wednesday until today afternoon, it was held in Skopje, the capital of the presiding country for this year 2023.
The goals of this summit have been achieved - Malta was chosen by consensus as chairman for the next year, and an agreement was reached on the four main executive positions - OSCE Secretary General, ODIHR Director, High Representative for National Minorities and Representative for Media Freedom.
The permanent representative of the USA in the OSCE, Ambassador Michael Carpenter, announced at a briefing that all the members formally agreed to Malta taking over the presidency, and he said that an agreement was reached to extend the mandates of the four key positions of the OSCE for another nine months. Unlike him, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia informed at a press conference that the mandate will be extended for three months.

Carpenter: The OSCE will take place

Carpenter said that the most important thing is to keep the OSCE in operation, because it does a great job.

- We want the work of the OSCE to continue. The organization has 13 field missions, including in Ukraine, Moldova, Western Balkans, and there are also missions in Asia. OSCE was created to promote human rights, democratic norms, rule of law - said Carpenter.

He added that Russia is an aggressor country with brutal behavior, which currently occupies 20 percent of the territory of Georgia and is stationing troops in Moldova. He also said that "there will be responsibility for their crimes."
Regarding the statements of the Russian head of diplomacy, Carpenter said that he would take every word of Lavrov with a grain of salt.

- Nobody wants to sit at the table with Lavrov and listen to his lies, misinformation and propaganda. Staying away from that table is an act that makes a lot of sense - he said.

When asked if they are considering excluding Russia and Belarus from the OSCE, Ambassador Carpenter stated that this is an organization built by consensus, as a tool for cooperation and, as he added, although it is difficult, they will try to create a solution to the problems so that it can results have been achieved.

- Russia is in a very uncomfortable position in the OSCE, because it is diplomatically isolated. We will continue to use the Organization for the purpose for which it was created. Its functionality is a win for us. OSCE is not sinking - said Carpenter.

Lavrov: There is no salvation for the OSCE

Earlier today, the Russian head of diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, assessed that there is no salvation for the OSCE, but this assessment remained isolated.
He emphasized that the OSCE is collapsing and that the security of the continent is disturbed.

- We have solid evidence that the Western countries have not learned their lessons but are using the leverage of the OSCE to accuse Russia and impose sanctions on us. We were the only voice of reason that the OSCE was established for security cooperation. Everything is destroyed in the political sphere, there is a refusal to adopt a convention on weapons, as well as numerous agreements for achieving security and stability and reducing weapons on the European stage - said Lavrov.

He also said that the Macedonian presidency chose a good slogan that "it's about the people" and believes that it means all people, including their citizens in Estonia and Latvia.

- There are four people who lead the human rights structures and I see great nervousness among them. I don't care about their fears about mandates. It is important that the principles of human rights are being violated - said Lavrov.

He added that three months is a sufficient period for the mandate of the four positions, and in the meantime, negotiations should be held and "real people should be chosen for those positions, not puppets".

 Osmani: Thank you all

Yesterday evening, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani held a meeting with Lavrov and his colleague from Malta, Jan Borg, after which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the meeting of the current and future chairman of the OSCE with the Russian minister was convened "to ensure the further functioning of the institutions of The organization, in the context of the specific circumstances in which it finds itself."

This morning, however, Osmani thanked all the heads of delegations who were present at the 30th OSCE Ministerial Council.

– We must not allow OSCE mechanisms, which contribute to improving the lives of many people, to remain unused due to our internal inconsistency. The OSCE is needed to encourage multilateralism and facilitate cooperation, so that people can live freely. That is why we must respond to this call together, because it does not come from me as the current chairman, but from the people of the OSCE region whom we serve - Osmani wrote on his Facebook profile.

A series of side events and conferences were held on the sidelines of the summit, including the situation in Ukraine, climate change, youth and civil society, the safety of female journalists, etc. Yesterday afternoon, a joint statement on the fight against corruption was signed between the heads of diplomacy of Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Osmani, Igli Hasani, Ivica Dacic, Filip Ivanovic and Elmedin Konakovic.

- I ask that we not be taught lessons from the side, because all EU member countries now have to go through what we all go through here to enter the Union, then three quarters of the countries would not pass the test - said the head of Serbian diplomacy Dacic.

According to Dacic, the fight against corruption and organized crime cannot be done without full coordinated action and international cooperation.
The summit, attended by more than 1.000 delegates from 57 member states and partners, was successfully organized and served as a good advertisement for Skopje. The capital was half empty yesterday due to the non-working day for the administration, and today the congestion returned due to the departure of the delegations.

Asked about Macedonian-Bulgarian relations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he is not the greatest expert on this issue, but stressed that every country, including Macedonia, has the right to be an equal part of the continent's activities. He accused the Western allies of being behind all the current and previous problems in the Balkans.
The Russian minister welcomed this year's chairmanship of the OSCE, saying that he always felt welcome in the country.

- I remember that for years Macedonia was called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and this was a humiliating name, and we also know what happened to the name North Macedonia. I also remember that the president of the Macedonian Assembly had photos with the Albanian flag, taken in the office of the Assembly - said Lavrov.

Regarding the events that took place on the eve of the OSCE Summit in Skopje, Lavrov said that when such events are held, no one must say which country is invited and which is not.

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