More than four countries oppose Lavrov's participation in OSCE ministerial meeting – Kuleba
There are more than four countries that oppose Russia's participation in a meeting of the OSCE Foreign Ministers, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba has said.
"There are four countries that have officially stated that they will not participate in the ministerial meeting – Ukraine and the Baltic countries. There are countries that came to me today and said that they will not be at the ministerial meeting because they do not agree, but they will not talk about it publicly. There are countries that did not come to me today, but I know that they will be at the dinner in Skopje, which will not be attended by [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov. But they will not attend the official part with Lavrov tomorrow. The bottom line is: there are more than four countries that oppose Lavrov's participation," he said at NATO Headquarters after the first meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council at the level of foreign ministers on Wednesday.
Kuleba emphasized that each country decides for itself how to show disagreement with the participation of the Russian delegation, and Ukraine respects this.
At the same time, the minister noted that North Macedonia has supported Ukraine in principle and consistently throughout the year, and expressed gratitude.
"As for the decision to invite Lavrov, there is a group of OSCE participating countries that believes that this step had to be taken in order to save the OSCE from complete collapse and breakup. Due to the fact that it is necessary to make decisions on the budget, chairmanship, and reassignment of heads of organizations. My position is known: if we really want to save the OSCE, then we must either re-establish the OSCE without the Russian Federation, or find a way to kick the Russian Federation out of there," he said.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced that the Ukrainian delegation would not participate in the OSCE ministerial meeting as Ukraine believes that the presence of the Russian delegation will only aggravate the crisis into which Russia has driven the OSCE.
The Foreign Ministry emphasized that by resorting to blackmail and open threats, the Russian Federation systematically blocked consensus on key issues, and the blocking of Estonia's candidacy for the OSCE chairmanship in 2024 was also arbitrary. 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.