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MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Moscow hopes, during the term of Austria’s chairing, the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) will pay due attention to overcoming conflicts in its space, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Austria’s Profil weekly.
"First of all, this refers to settlement of the inner Ukrainian crisis," he said. "The maximum full involvement of OSCE’s potential for these purposes is of special demand now."
The foreign minister pointed to "effective work of the OSCE envoy, Austrian diplomat Martin Sajdik in the Contact Group, where in dialogues between parties to the conflict - Kiev, Donetsk, Lugansk - they solve and should solve practical issues for settlement," Lavrov said. "An important stabilizing role is played by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission."
"Our position is that OSCE will continue favoring actively the negotiation process for settlement in Transnistria, as well as around Nagorno Karabakh, which is especially important on the background of the deteriorated situation in that region last year," he said. "We hope for constructive continuation of the Geneva discussions on Trans-Caucasus."
The minister confirmed the Russian side is ready "to offer to the Austrian counterparts support in successful implementation of these important tasks.".
OSCE should remain the main platform for discussing European issues, such as war on terror, illegal drug trafficking and cyberattacks, Sergei Lavrov said.
"The main goal for this year is to restore confidence in the OSCE, possibilities for an equal dialog and decision-making in the security sphere," Lavrov said, adding "the war on terror, illegal drug trafficking and cyber threats should remain among the OSCE priorities."
"As far as we understand, our Austrian counterparts also share this position," he continued. The Organization should continue being a major platform for discussing approaches to all key issues on the European agenda."
"Russia is interested in Austria’s active and constructive chairing role at OSCE," he said. "We hope, the Austrian counterparts will demonstrate fair and unbiased approaches to formation and implementation of the Organization’s agenda, minding interests of all the participating countries."
The foreign minister said these issues were discussed in Moscow on January 18 during a visit of his counterpart Sebastian Kurz.
"We acknowledge with satisfaction that the program for 2017, suggested by Vienna, which we have studied thoroughly, is quite intensive and pragmatic, and, what is important, pays equal attention to all security criteria," Lavrov added.