In a joint statement today, the foreign ministers of the Baltic States announced they would not attend the meeting of the OSCE’s Ministerial Council in Skopje later this week if Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also attends. “Lavrov’s place is at a special tribunal, not the OSCE table,” Margus Tsahkna, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, said.
“In the past two years we have seen Russia, an OSCE participating state, continuing to conduct a brutal full-scale aggression and genocide in Ukraine and deporting thousands of children,” Tsahkna said at the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. “Russia’s aggression against its independent and peaceful neighbour Ukraine violates international law, and it is an attack on the OSCE and its fundamental values.”
Foreign Minister Tsahkna strongly condemned the decision to allow Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to attend the meeting of the OSCE’s Ministerial Council in Skopje.
“Russia will use this opportunity to spread its propaganda and undermine the unity of the West. The fact is that while the OSCE meeting is being held in Skopje, Russia’s war machine is attacking innocent Ukrainians and deporting children without blinking an eye,” said Tsahkna.
“Lavrov’s attendance trivialises the atrocious crimes that Russia continues to commit. Estonia cannot sit at the same table with the aggressor and bear responsibility for the consequences Lavrov’s attendance may bring. It goes against our fundamental principles,” the minister said.
Tsahkna emphasised that right now it was crucial to put an immediate end to the aggression, withdraw Russian troops from occupied areas, compensate the destruction and hold criminals to account. However, there are no signs that Russia is even considering acting in accordance with international law and the principles of the OSCE.
“The OSCE was created to rebuild European security, prevent conflicts and maintain peace. With its unlawful and brutal actions, Russia has repeatedly proved that it is not a security partner for Europe. In reality, Europe currently needs defence from and against Russia,” said Tsahkna.
Read the full statement HERE.