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    NewsWorldControversial Russian presence in the OSCE

    Controversial Russian presence in the OSCE

    Controversial OSCE assembly. ((The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.)) Austria’s decision to allow seven Russian parliamentarians subject to sanctions to travel to the Assembly in Vienna has provoked almost general disapproval. Ukraine and Lithuania boycott the meeting.

    The US wants to reform the OSCE to avoid the systematic Russian veto

    But there is no mechanism to expel or suspend Russia and Belarus. And decisions are made unanimously. Vaidotas Verba, Lithuania’s ambassador to the OSCE in Vienna, explains that there was a campaign to prevent visas from being issued to sanctioned Russian parliamentarians:

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    “Our MPs do not want to sit in the same room or be in the same building as Russian representatives who instigated, supported and continue to promote the war in Ukraine. More than 80 MPs from 20 countries wrote a letter to Parliament and Government leaders of Austria specifically asking that no visas be issued and that this decision be reconsidered.”

    Poland and the UK recently rejected several Russian MPs

    While Poland and the UK recently refused to allow Russian parliamentarians to travel to their OSCE events, Austria is taking a different approach. As the official headquarters of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Alpine country is required by international law to issue visas to all delegations, according to the government. In addition, Vienna wants to maintain the dialogue.

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    Austria wants to keep the path of dialogue open

    “The OSCE is a central platform for diplomacy and for permanent dialogue between all participating States. Russia and Ukraine remain participating States. I think it is right and important that this platform for dialogue continue to be supported,” said Gabriele Juen, spokesperson of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    “On the exact anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine, Russian and Western parliamentarians are meeting here at the OSCE headquarters in Vienna. The world’s largest regional security organization was originally founded to prevent a war of this kind.

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    Johannes Pleschberger, from Vienna, for Euronews

    Source: Euronews Español


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