Ukrainian delegation not to participate in OSCE ministerial meeting at FMs' level – MFA
The Ukrainian delegation will not participate in the OSCE ministerial meeting at the level of the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Kyiv believes that the presence of the Russian delegation will only aggravate the crisis into which Russia has driven the OSCE, Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oleh Nikolenko said.
"Ukraine highly appreciates the efforts of North Macedonia as the 2023 Presidency and personally by Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, who have demonstrated high professionalism and unwavering commitment to defending the principles and commitments of the OSCE. We are grateful to North Macedonia for prioritizing the issue of countering Russian aggression against Ukraine during its chairmanship. Russia is consistently destroying the OSCE by abusing the rule of consensus," Nikolenko said on Facebook.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that by resorting to blackmail and open threats, Russia systematically blocked consensus on key issues, and the blocking of Estonia's candidacy for the OSCE chairmanship in 2024 was also "self-willed." The Foreign Ministry recalled that Russia also illegally detained three Ukrainians – representatives of the OSCE, who have been in prison for more than 500 days.
"Russia has created an existential crisis in the OSCE and turned the organization hostage to its whims and aggression. In such conditions, the presence of the Russian delegation at a ministerial meeting for the first time since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine will only aggravate the crisis into which Russia has driven the OSCE," Nikolenko said.
The department said "we should work together to save the OSCE from Russia, and not send signals about the possibility of returning to the forms of cooperation that existed before February 2022, to a state that unleashed the largest armed aggression in Europe since the end of the Second World War and grossly violated all the principles of the Helsinki Final Act."
In this regard, the Ukrainian delegation will not participate in the OSCE ministerial meeting at the level of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the department said.
"At the same time, Ukraine remains committed to the principles of the OSCE and is ready to continue working with partners in order to restore respect for the Helsinki Final Act, in particular based on the implementation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Peace Formula," the spokesman said.
A meeting of the OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers will be held in Skopje on November 30 to December 1.