SKOPJE, December 1. /TASS/. Instead of trying to overcome the crisis in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the West prefers to engage in "petty nitpicking" concerning the extension of the terms of office for commissioners who directly violated the organization’s principles, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
"Right now, as we speak, there is some petty squabbling going on there [in the OSCE] about whether or not to extend the terms of office for all these people who head the OSCE institutions and who have neglected their direct duties, openly violating the principles on which the organization is based, where they were appointed to ensure various areas of its activities," Russia’s top diplomat said at a news conference following a meeting of the OSCE Foreign Ministers' Council in Skopje, North Macedonia.
"They are currently engaged in efforts to extend the terms of office of each other, all these commissioners on media and other affairs, trying to extend [their] tenures for nine months, for a year," Lavrov continued.
"The sort of petty nitpicking that is currently underway regarding this issue [of OSCE officials’ terms in office] has nothing to do with the deep crisis in the organization, but that's all they care about," the Russian foreign minister said.
Lavrov added that he was indifferent to the eventual outcome of his Western colleagues’ pointless "water cooler debate" over extending the terms in office of the heads of OSCE institutions.
On Thursday, Lavrov addressed the plenary meeting of the OSCE Foreign Ministers’ Council in Skopje, North Macedonia, and held a number of bilateral meetings as well as trilateral talks with his North Macedonian counterpart, Bujar Osmani, and Maltese Foreign Minister Ian Borg, who represent the incumbent and future chairs of the OSCE, respectively.