The decision by Poland, as the current chair in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), to bar Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov from the OSCE Minister Council due to take place in Łódź on December 1-2, 2022, is an unprecedented and inflammatory step. It is incompatible with the status of the chair in the organisation where 57 countries take part as sovereign and independent states under the conditions of full equality. This violates the OSCE Rules of Procedure and decisions of its policy-making bodies, in particular the decision of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Porto in 2002 on the role of the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office.
During all of this year, instead working to strengthen the OSCE, Warsaw has persistently destroyed its foundations, has done everything in its power to erode the culture of consensus fundamental for the Organisation, and has launched dangerous centrifugal trends. Most key events were either cancelled or held in a surrogate format with a non-consensus or even a subversive agenda. Procedural rules were not complied with. Thanks to the efforts of the chairing country, the policy-making bodies have been plunged into chaos. It has thereby demonstrated that it is totally incapable of holding such a responsible office. Not only has Warsaw discredited itself, but it has dealt an irreparable blow to the authority of the entire Organisation.
It has become even more evident that the advocates of the rules-based order do not need the OSCE as an opportunity of an equitable and respectful dialogue on serious issues of European security; instead, they use it primarily as a venue for politicised shows and anti-Russia exercises. They have already nearly succeeded in turning the main OSCE institutions into a circus, apparently without even contemplating for a second whether it will be possible to return them to normal work.
An unacceptable attack against Russia in the context of the OSCE is the culmination of Poland’s entire anti-chairmanship in the Organisation. Polish authorities prevent the organisation from fulfilling its functions effectively: first they denied Russian parliamentarians the opportunity to participate in an autumn session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (Warsaw, November 24-26), and now they grossly violated our delegation’s rights at the ministerial meeting. With these destructive actions, Poland, with the support of its associates from the Western camp, is pushing the OSCE into the abyss and depriving it of the last chance to demonstrate its relevance in enhancing security and promoting cooperation, the objectives for which it was established.
Citing legal provisions valid in the Republic of Poland and the European Union, Warsaw has placed the EU regulations above the commitments of the OSCE, which is currently the most representative pan-European organisation.
We are convinced that all reasonable politicians share Russia’s position that such actions are unacceptable and will give them a principal assessment. A corresponding inquiry was distributed yesterday to all OSCE member states.
Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich will head the Russian delegation at the OSCE Ministerial Council.