The Ukrainian delegation will not attend the upcoming Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting of foreign ministers due to the presence of Russian representatives, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko said on Nov. 28.
The meeting is scheduled to take place from Nov. 30 until Dec. 1 in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, a country currently chairing the organization.
"Ukraine highly appreciates the efforts of North Macedonia as the presiding state in 2023, and Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani personally," Nikolenko said, highlighting Osmani's "professionalism and unwavering commitment to protecting the principles and obligations of the OSCE."
The spokesperson said that Russia is abusing the OSCE's rule of consensus and resorts to blackmail and open threats to block key issues, such as Estonia's candidacy for the 2024 chairmanship.
Malta is scheduled to preside over the organization after Russia and Belarus blocked Tallinn's candidacy last week.
Nikolenko also reminded that Russia had been illegally holding three Ukrainian OSCE officials, who were captured shortly after the start of the full-scale invasion.
While refraining from participating in the upcoming meeting, "Ukraine remains committed to the principles of the OSCE," Nikolenko added.
The OSCE was formed in the 1970s as the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, which provided a platform for dialogue between the Eastern Bloc and Western Bloc during the Cold War.