MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. Warsaw’s decision to deny Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov his participation in a meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in the Polish city of Lodz on December 1-2 is unprecedented and provocative and incompatible with the status of the organization’s chair, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
"The decision by Poland as the OSCE current chair to deny Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov his participation in a meeting of the Council of OSCE Foreign Ministers in the city of Lodz on December 1-2 is unprecedented and inflammatory. It is incompatible with the status of the chair of the organization, in which 57 countries participate as sovereign and independent states under the conditions of full equality," the ministry said.
In the wake of Warsaw’s decision, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich will lead the Russian delegation at the organization’s ministerial meeting, it said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, nonetheless, stated it was convinced that "all politicians who have common sense share the Russian side’s position on the inadmissibility of such actions and will give a principled assessment of such moves. The relevant inquiry was yesterday sent to all the OSCE member states," the statement reads.
Poland’s OSCE ‘anti-presidency’
By its actions, Warsaw "has placed the EU procedures above the commitments of the OSCE," which is today the most representative pan-European organization, the ministry said.
"Throughout the year, instead of strengthening the OSCE, Warsaw was devotedly ruining its fundamentals and doing everything possible for eroding the culture of consensus fundamental for the organization and stimulating dangerous centrifugal trends. Most of key events were either cancelled or held in the ‘surrogate’ format and, what’s more, with the non-consensus or even disruptive agenda. The procedure rules were not observed. Chaos reigned in the policy-making bodies through the presidency’s efforts. Thus, complete inability to hold such a responsible post was demonstrated. Warsaw has not only discredited itself but has also caused irreparable damage to the prestige of the organization as a whole," the ministry said.
At the same time, "the unacceptable escapade against Russia in the context of the Ministerial Council meeting" has become "the culmination of Poland’s entire ‘anti-presidency’ in the organization," the ministry stressed.
"The Polish authorities do not allow the organization to fulfil its functions in a full-fledged manner: at first, they blocked the possibility for Russian legislators to participate in the autumn session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (Warsaw, November 24-26 this year) and now they have grossly infringed upon the rights of our delegation at the ministerial level," the statement reads.
"By such destructive decisions, the Poles, supported by their like-minded persons in the Western camp, are pushing the OSCE towards an abyss and depriving it of the last chances to show that it is needed in strengthening security and establishing cooperation as the goals for the sake of which it was established," the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out.
It has become even more obvious that the OSCE is needed by the zealots "of the order based on rules" not as the possibility of equitable and respectful dialogue on serious issues of European security but primarily as "the platform for politicking and anti-Russian exercises," it said.
"They have almost turned the OSCE basic institutions into buffoonery, apparently without thinking for a second about whether it will be possible to return them to normal work," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.