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Diplomats preparing to revise Helsinki Accords of 1975 — media

November 26, 2014, 10:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Helsinki summit in 1975 stopped the cold war and restored ties between the Soviet Union, the United States and Europe
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Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev shakes hands with President Ford after their first round of talks at the American Embassy in Helsinki, July 30, 1975

Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev shakes hands with President Ford after their first round of talks at the American Embassy in Helsinki, July 30, 1975

© AP Photo

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is discussing plans to hold a conference similar to the summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, in 1975, which stopped the cold war and restored ties between the Soviet Union, the United States and Europe, the Izvestia newspaper has reported.

The idea of convening a new Helsinki forum may be announced in early December at the foreign ministers’ meeting of the OSCE member-states in Switzerland’s Basel, the report says, citing diplomatic sources.

Russia’s EU envoy, Vladimir Chizhov, told the newspaper “this idea (signing of new agreement on security and cooperation in Europe - TASS) may take particular shapes” on December 4-5 during the OSCE Ministerial Council in Basel. “This is now being discussed as part of the OSCE,” he said.

The diplomat confirmed that the draft concept of such an agreement, Helsinki plus 40, already exists and could be adopted during the OSCE chairmanship of a country, which has friendly relations with Russia.

Next year, Serbia, Russia’s traditional ally, will chair the organization.

The draft declaration of the Helsinki plus 40 was signed in December 2013 in Kiev by the foreign ministers of the OSCE member-states, including Russia. Its aim is to rebuild trust and improve efficiency of the international venue.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov then said the document laid the basis for the work on drafting a declaration by 2015, marking the 40th anniversary of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords.

However, the February coup in Ukraine and the civil war in the country’s east has led to a sharp deterioration in relations between Russia, the European Union and the United States, creating the threat of a new cold war.

In 1975, 35 states, including the US, Canada, and most European states, signed the Helsinki Accords, also known as the Helsinki Final Act, in an effort to improve relations between the Communist bloc and the West and secure their common acceptance of the post-World War II status quo in Europe.

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