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OSCE head opposes Russia’s expulsion from organization

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 9, 2023 1:42 PM 1 min read
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OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid told German television channel Welt that “it makes sense” to keep Russia in the organization to maintain diplomatic channels.

“One day, we will need conversation means again. And the OSCE is the only security organization in which everyone important to the European security architecture sits at one table,” Schmid said.

According to Schmid, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) does not have a suspension mechanism to exclude Russia as “it’s not an organization of like-minded people like the EU or NATO.”

She explained that the OSCE emerged out of the Cold War confrontation and was founded by countries with different interests but common desire to prevent escalation.

Schmid also told Welt that keeping Russia in the OSCE doesn’t mean that all members agree with its actions, adding that Poland, who chaired the OSCE in 2022, put Russia’s war against Ukraine on the agenda at every session.

“There was no ’business as usual,’” she said.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba earlier urged to expel Russia from the OSCE, calling its participation “a threat to security and cooperation in Europe.”

The OSCE announced the closure of its Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in April after Russia had blocked the extension of the mission mandate on March 31.

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