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MOSCOW, June 25 /TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will increase its role in strengthening the pan-European architecture in view of sanctions and anti-Russian moods within the European Union, Ivan Soltanovsky, director of the pan-European department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told parliamentary hearings at the Russian Federation Council (parliament’s upper house) on Thursday.
"Under the current circumstances, the OSCE is quite capable of increasing its role in strengthening the pan-European architecture," the diplomat said adding that a political climate in Europe was not in its best state.
"A desire to punish Russia for Ukraine is so obtrusive that it is blinding the minds of even those politicians whom we have always considered to be constructive and pragmatic," Soltanovsky said.
According to him, the extension of the anti-Russian sanctions was not unexpected for Russia, and the Russian leadership retaliated with well-thought countermeasures.
"The events in Ukraine have clearly demonstrated that the OSCE which used to be in the shadow for a long time has now remained the only floor for a political dialogue. It has real potential for coordinating collective measures to settle the conflict and end the systemic European security crisis in future," Soltanovsky stressed noting the Russian side had no doubt that Europe was facing a security crisis.