On 30 November – 1 December 2023, the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will take place in Skopje.
Ukraine highly appreciates the efforts of North Macedonia as Chairpersonship in 2023 as well as of Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani personally, who demonstrated high professionalism and unwavering commitment to protecting the principles and commitments of the OSCE. We are especially grateful to North Macedonia for the prioritization of the issue of countering russian aggression against Ukraine in the course of its Chairpersonship.
Today, the russian federation is coercing and undermining the OSCE through the abuse of the rule of consensus. By resorting to blackmailing and open threats, the russian federation systematically blocked the consensus on key issues. The blocking of Estonia’s candidacy for the Chairpersonship of the OSCE in 2024 has become yet another example of russia’s abuse. Furthermore, russia illegally detained three Ukrainian OSCE officials that have been in detention for more than 500 days. russia has created an existential crisis within the OSCE and turned the Organization into a hostage of its whims and aggression.
Under such conditions, the presence of the russian delegation at the meeting at the ministerial level for the first time since the beginning of russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine will only deepen the crisis into which russia has driven the OSCE.
We should focus our common efforts on how to save the OSCE from russia, and not send messages about the possibility of returning to the forms of cooperation that existed before February 2022 to the state that has unleashed the largest armed aggression in Europe since the end of the Second World War and grossly violated all the principles of the Helsinki Final Act.
In view of this, the delegation of Ukraine will not participate in the OSCE Ministerial meeting at the level of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the same time, Ukraine remains committed to the principles of the OSCE and is ready to continue working with partners to restore respect for the Helsinki Final Act, in particular through the implementation of the Peace Formula of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.