OSCE stands out from other formats of dialogue between Russia and West
Last week, OSCE Informal Ministerial Meeting was held in Mauerbach, Austria. For half a year of the Austrian presidency, the organization faced a considerable number of difficulties. The Permanent Council was able to accept the 2017 budget only on June 1, after months of coordination. They did not plan to accept any documents at the meeting in Mauerbach. It was aimed at exchanging views on the state of affairs in the OSCE area of responsibility and discussing the preparations for the OSCE CIS Ministerial Council in Vienna on December 7-8.
The ministers concentrated on ways of getting out of the current European security crisis. Today, the security situation in Europe is compounded by growing transnational threats - terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime and the migration crisis. Moscow believes that the OSCE can contribute to countering current challenges, primarily terrorism and terrorist ideology, and an effective fight against this evil is possible only on the basis of international law with respect for the equality and sovereignty of states. Moscow also intends to promote at the OSCE priorities for the peaceful resolution of ongoing conflicts in the existing formats, the protection of traditional values, including the rights of Christians and Muslims, and the harmonisation of integration processes.
Russia's permanent representative to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich, summing up the work of Russian diplomacy in the OSCE in the first half of 2017, said that the ministers had tried thoroughly and very frankly to talk in Mauerbach about the Austrian presidency's agenda for the second half of this year. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shared his impressions of the OSCE's work, stressing that this platform remains very important for the realization of Russian interests in Europe, the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasia.
"Russian diplomacy has worked very actively in the OSCE, both in the economic and military-political dimensions. During the first half of this year Russia had the presidency for the first time in many years and it continues to chair the forum on security cooperation. Parliamentary diplomacy was very active. This half-year we adopted a very large delegation of the new Federal Assembly which was working at the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly. It was not easy, but our colleagues were actively involved in a dialogue on various platforms. The head of our new delegation, Peter Tolstoy, in my opinion, worked very effectively with his colleagues in various circumstances and situations. We also received the Federation Council Chairman Valentina Matvienko, who spoke at the conference on the role of women in the fight against terrorism. Representatives of the top leadership felt the OSCE platform and its opportunities for creating a more favorable atmosphere both in our bilateral relations, and in overcoming the crisis of mistrust that arose after the 2014 events," Lukashevich said.
According to him, against the backdrop of other formats of the dialogue between the Russian Federation and the West, the OSCE perform relatively better than others, because it is able to solve many tasks related to the fight against terrorism, as well as establish interaction between special services and develop economic cooperation. "There are some chances for a serious talk about the integration of integration processes in Europe, the possibility of dialogue between the European Union and the Eurasian Union," the Permanent Representative said.