Osmani for "Politico": With the agreement for Malta to take over the chairmanship of the OSCE, the democratic world won

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani

Foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting in Skopje this week are expected to sign an agreement to elect Malta as the next chairman of the Vienna-based organization.

The Brussels portal "Politico" in the analysis "NATO meeting amid wavering support for Ukraine" points out that the news of the preliminary agreement on the election of a new chairman - which is key to keeping the organization in operation - was first published by Security and Human Rights Monitor. But he says the plan faces criticism in the Baltics and Ukraine, which consider the compromise a victory for the Kremlin. Russia blocked Estonia's bid for the role, which threatened to collapse the organization, the text said.

Bujar Osmani's Minister of Foreign Affairs, who as the current chairman of the OSCE mediated the agreement, in a conversation with the "Politico" journalist about the developments, points out that he does not consider the compromise to be a victory for Russia. It also recalls his statement that he tried all possible solutions and initially fully supported Estonia – but in the end he had to find a compromise candidate.

- I think that Russia was not so satisfied with the work of the OSCE, he said, when asked if the loss of Estonia was a Russian victory.

According to him, by keeping the OSCE "alive, functional... we will have an instrument".

- We have won, the democratic world, those who follow the rules-based international order. And with this agreement, the organization, I can say, is safe, says the head of diplomacy and chairman of OSCE Osmani.

The organization faced criticism in Brussels that it had outlived its purpose and failed to prevent the war in Ukraine, but, the analysis said, several officials, including Osmani, insisted it could play a key role in monitoring any potential ceasefire or peace treaty.

- I think that the OSCE will be the one to enter if there is peace in Ukraine, he claims.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken plan to attend Wednesday's meeting in Skopje, North Macedonia - but are not scheduled to meet, Politico reports.

Osmani confirmed Lavrov's presence at a meeting in Skopje later this week, adding that the country has granted all necessary visas and travel permits and is now in negotiations with Greece and Bulgaria for overflight rights. Osmani also commented on the statement from unnamed diplomats that some EU ministers from the Baltics, as well as Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, could refuse to attend because of this.

- We are still working on bringing them all to Skopje, Osmani said, adding that he will continue to advocate for it today at the NATO meeting.

When asked who will meet with Lavrov, given that the head of Russian diplomacy claimed that some Western countries asked to meet with him while he was in Skopje, Osmani refused to reveal the agenda, states "Politico".

The foreign ministers of the 57 member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are expected to meet later this week to sign an agreement to elect Malta as the next chair of the Vienna-based organization.

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