Currently at the OSCE Annual Council, Russia’s Sergei Lavrov is drawing ire

The latter arrived shortly after 10:00 a.m. (09:00 GMT) without speaking to journalists at the entrance to the House. He, like the rest of the delegation, is scheduled to speak in the morning — his speech is expected at 11:45 a.m. local time (10:45 a.m. GMT).

His Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts won’t speak: they decided to boycott the summit, believing that its presence “risks legitimizing the aggressors, Russia as a full member of our community of independent nations.”

“Mr. Lavrov’s place is in a special court, not at the OSCE table,” said Estonian Foreign Minister Markus Sagna.

Criticizing the arrival of “a state that has unleashed the largest armed occupation in Europe since the end of World War II”, kyiv ignores it. Poland, which refused to allow a Russian minister to participate in an OSCE meeting it is hosting in 2022, said Mr. described Lavrov’s presence as “unacceptable”.

The organization, created in 1975 as a forum for dialogue between East and West, has been facing the worst crisis in its history since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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“Despite the machinations of the enemy,” Sergey Lavrov arrived in North Macedonia overnight, Russian diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in a telegram.

Bulgaria first Mr. Lavrov – targeted by Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine – allowed it to fly through its airspace, but revoked the authorization because Ms Zakharova was on board his plane. European union.

So Mr. passed through Greece. Russian press agencies and the website FlightRadar reported that Lavrov’s plane had finally arrived in North Macedonia.

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“Decision to ratify [Sergueï] Lavrov’s participation is in line with our common objective of keeping multilateralism alive,” EU diplomatic chief Joseph Borrell said on Wednesday evening.

Mr. Lavrov “must ask everyone again why Russia is doomed and isolated. It will be a good opportunity for the participants of this meeting to ask him why Russia is doomed and isolated. Then he can. Tell the Kremlin master that the EU and the OSCE are united in condemning Russia’s aggression and illegal behavior,” Lavrov said. He added.

The United States also strongly supports this European forum, established in Vienna at the Habsburg Imperial Palace. US diplomat Antony Blinken made a detour to Skopje on Wednesday evening to show his support, but will be absent on Thursday and Friday.

France is represented there by Minister of State for Europe Laurence Boone. “I am here to reiterate our support for Ukraine,” he told AFP, and to “show that we are making the OSCE work, despite Russian sanctions.”

Created in August 1975, when the Western and Soviet camps agreed to create a platform for dialogue between the two hostile camps, the OSCE today unites 57 countries.

Unwilling to ask for NATO membership in this strategic position, Estonia almost found itself without a presidency in 2024 before Malta agreed at the last minute to replace Moscow with the presidency. It must be approved in Skopje.

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