Ukrainian Minister Kuleba refused to participate in the OSCE Summit in Skopje

Dmitry Kuleba / Photo EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN /

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitri Kuleba will not participate in the OSCE Ministerial Meeting in Skopje, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, explaining that the presence of the Russian delegation at the ministerial-level meeting for the first time since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine will only deepened the crisis in which Russia introduced the OSCE.

"Today, the Russian Federation is coercing and undermining the OSCE by abusing consensus rule. By resorting to blackmail and open threats, the Russian Federation has systematically blocked consensus on key issues. The blocking of Estonia's bid to chair the OSCE in 2024 has become another example of Russia's abuse. Furthermore, Russia has illegally detained three Ukrainian OSCE representatives who have been detained for more than 500 days. Russia has created an existential crisis within the OSCE and has turned the Organization into a hostage to its whims and aggression," reads the statement from the Ukrainian MFA.

At the same time, from there they refer to their efforts "how to save the OSCE from Russia".

"We should focus our joint efforts on how to save the OSCE from Russia, and not send messages about the possibility of returning to the forms of cooperation that existed before February 2022 to the state that carried out the largest armed aggression in Europe since the end of The Second World War and grossly violated all the principles of the final act of Helsinki", added the Ministry.

However, they say that although they will not participate at the ministerial level, they remain committed to the principles of the OSCE.

"The delegation of Ukraine will not participate in the OSCE ministerial meeting at the level of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the same time, Ukraine remains committed to the principles of the OSCE and is ready to continue working with partners to restore compliance with the Helsinki Final Act, especially through the implementation of the Peace Formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky," they said.

The statement from Kyiv added that they appreciate the efforts of Macedonia as chairman in 2023, as well as personally of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, who, as stated, "showed high professionalism and unwavering commitment to the protection of the principles and commitments of OSCE". Gratitude is also expressed to "North Macedonia for prioritizing the issue of opposing Russian aggression against Ukraine during its presidency".

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