Despite calls for the expulsion of Russia from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), this is impossible for lack of an appropriate mechanism. This was stated in an interview with RTVI by the permanent representative of the United States to the OSCE, Michael Carpenter.
According to him, the OSCE is “an inclusive organization” whose participants are still able to do “useful work” together.
“The reality is that even though there is a desire to exclude Russia from the OSCE, although in fact we are now only discussing the suspension of its membership in the OSCE, not an exclusion complete… But again, there is no mechanism provided for such an exclusion,” Carpenter said.
According to the American diplomat, the OSCE “opens its doors” to all countries, and even if its participating States do not reach a certain consensus within the organization, as in the case of Russia and Belarus concerning the conflict in Ukraine, on many other issues the OSCE “can do a lot of useful work together.” “It is important to preserve this organization,” he said.
The uniqueness of the OSCE lies in its inclusiveness, Carpenter noted. The organization is open both to small countries, such as San Marino or Monaco, and to “great powers” such as Russia, Canada or the United Kingdom, said the diplomat. “I personally believe that in the years to come, the OSCE organization will be redesigned and will always have its word of weight,” he expressed his hope.
Calls for Russia’s exclusion from the OSCE were made in the context of the worsening situation in Ukraine even before the start of active hostilities. So in January 2022 about it said Former US Ambassador to the OSCE James Gilmour. Already after the outbreak of the armed conflict, in April 2022, the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Dmitry Kuleba, made the same proposal. According to him, Russia’s actions undermine the foundations of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the OSCE, and its membership of the organization “constitutes a threat to security and cooperation in Europe”.
In the summer of 2022, representatives of Russia and Belarus denied in issuing visas for participation in the session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in British Birmingham. Then representatives from 57 countries sentenced Russia’s actions in Ukraine, setting out its position in the 70-page Birmingham statement. In November 2022, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other members of the Russian delegation were also denied participation in the OSCE PA meeting in Warsaw, as well as the meeting of the organization the December 1 and 2 in Lodz, Poland. Then the Polish side explained the refusal to issue visas as a “flagrant violation” of international law by Russia.
Head of the Russian delegation to the OSCE PA Pyotr Tolstoy declaredthat the refusal of Polish visas for participation in the autumn session of the organization is linked to fears due to possible embarrassing speeches by Russian representatives.
“It is a violation of the Charter and of the international obligations of the OSCE participating States, and it is due to the fact that they fear uncomfortable speeches during the debate. It is clear that in our absence they will try to suspend the membership of Russia and Belarus. Russia is one of the largest countries in the OSCE, without it the security problems in Europe will not be solved,” he said.
In February 2023, Yevgenia Kravchuk, a member of the Rada elected from the Servant of the People party, said that the Ukrainian delegation would boycott the meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vienna scheduled for the end of the month due to the participation of Russia. and Belarus in it.
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