Stoltenberg on Lavrov's arrival in Skopje: I have no advice for the organizers, the OSCE arranges its own meetings

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO. / Photo: MIA

The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, in the afternoon at a press conference in Brussels, refrained from answering a question regarding the expected presence of the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje. Stoltenberg was asked the question at the press conference after the first day of the meeting of the heads of diplomacy of NATO member states.

Pointing out in the introduction that the majority of the ministers present at the NATO meeting, with the exception of the Baltic countries and Ukraine, will attend the next days of the OSCE Ministerial Council in North Macedonia, the journalist of the Italian news agency (ANSA) asked Stoltenberg if this had been discussed. today in Brussels and whether he personally thinks it is appropriate for Lavrov to travel to a NATO member country at the moment.

The Secretary General said that the OSCE organizes its meetings independently and has no advice for the organizers of the event.

"It is up to the OSCE to organize their meetings." The OSCE has played an important role for many years. NATO allies as individual countries are members of the OSCE. It is up to the OSCE to organize its meetings. I don't have any advice to give to the organizers. It is my responsibility to organize the NATO meetings, and the OSCE to organize its own," said Stoltenberg, answering the last question at the press conference.

Last week, the Macedonian government made a decision that allows the head of Russian diplomacy to travel to Skopje and participate in the OSCE Ministerial Council, which will be held on November 30 and December 1.

Yesterday, Bulgaria also opened its airspace for the flight of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. This was confirmed by the Russian ambassador in Sofia, Eleonora Mitrofanova, who indicated that a positive response was received to their note about Lavrov's plane.

Due to the expected presence of the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs at the event in Skopje, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kuleba will not participate in it. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will also boycott the OSCE Ministerial Council if Lavrov participates in it.

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