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Russian top diplomat to take part in OSCE informal ministerial meeting in Mauerbach

July 11, 2017, 3:57 UTC+3 MAUERBACH

The ministry noted that the Russian side was ready for constructive work to prepare the OSCE CIS Ministerial Council in Vienna on December 7-8

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MAUERBACH, July 11. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part in an informal ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Mauerbach, Austria, where he will speak about the key European security challenges, NATO’s Russian policy and the need to reform the OSCE.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, no documents are approved at such meetings, as they aim at an informal high-level discussion of the situation in the OSCE’s area of responsibility and the preparation of a regular OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.

Lavrov may also have short bilateral contacts with some foreign ministers on the sidelines of today’s meeting.

Threats to European security

The Russian Foreign Ministry expects the Mauerbach meeting to focus on the ways to overcome the European security crisis and normalize relations between states. "We believe that all existing tools should be used to ease tensions," the ministry stressed. "We are confident that the OSCE, that has considerable potential and can serve as a platform for an equitable dialogue and for solving security issues, may be fully used for this purpose."

The ministry pointed out that the security situation in Europe was complicated by the growth of international threats, such as terrorism, drugs, organized crime and the migration crisis. All these issues will be discussed at the meeting in Austria. "It is necessary to enhance the OSCE’s profile in the fight against terrorism within the UN’s global efforts," the ministry assured. "We think that terrorism can be fought effectively only within a wide international coalition based on the rules of international law, esteem for equal rights and the sovereignty of states, the principle of nonintervention in domestic affairs and the inadmissibility of using terrorists for political goals."

The Mauerbach discussions will also focus on a "structured dialogue" on security challenges that was launched in OSCE at Germany’s initiative, the ministry noted. "Russia is taking part in it and hopes that it will help to find ways to de-escalate the military and political situation in Europe, as well as ease military confrontation," the ministry noted.

Moscow is confident that the success of this initiative "wholly depends on the partners’ readiness to conduct a fair dialogue, including on military issues, without competing accusations." "We’ve proposed to jointly evaluate the threats and military doctrines of the OSCE countries, as well as compare both the number and quality of separate military powers on the map of Europe," the ministry reiterated.

NATO’s dangerous course

The Russian side also intends to draw the participants’ attention to the course taken by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to restrain Russia. "We plan to raise the issue of NATO’s dangerous course of the Russian military and political restraint, as can be seen from the growing military forces and infrastructure in the regions bordering Russia and the growing number of military maneuvers involving the Alliance’s partner countries," the ministry reported.

Moscow pointed out that most military exercises "are anti-Russian and of a provocative character."

Improving ‘imbalances’

The Russian side also plans to attract the participants’ attention to "imbalances in the work of OSCE itself, its thematic and geographic instability." "Russia continues supporting the Organization’s reform that should include the improvement of the OSCE Charter, better organization of its missions and institutes, the ODIHR’s [Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights] election monitoring activities, as well as participation of nongovernmental agencies in the OSCE events and extra budgetary project activities," the ministry noted.

Strengthening the OSCE’s role

The Foreign Ministry stressed that Russia stood for bolstering the OSCE’s authority and its role in international affairs. Moscow is confident that the Organization’s member countries should strive to build a community with equal and indivisible security, according to the decision taken at the 2010 OSCE summit in Astana. "As for the current stage, it should focus on restoring trust between states and preventing false perception of each other’s intentions," the ministry highlighted, assuring that Russia was ready for this dialogue.

The meeting in Mauerbach will also discuss harmonization of integration processes in the west and east of Eurasia. "The OSCE is an appropriate forum for advancing the concept of ‘the integration of integrations’ that may serve as an economic foundation for the future of the security community," the ministry noted, adding the Organization was already discussing it.

December OSCE Ministerial Council

The ministry noted that the Russian side was ready for constructive work to prepare the OSCE CIS Ministerial Council in Vienna on December 7-8. "We hope that it will not be held hostage by time-serving political demands of certain countries," the ministry said. "We expect its agenda aspects and a package of documents to be discussed in Mauerbach."

In particular, Moscow considers as priority issues "the fight against terrorism and other threats, harmonization of integration processes and protection of traditional values, including countering the dangerous tendencies of Christianophobia and Islamophobia.".

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