US’s Blinken to attend OSCE meeting with Russia’s Lavrov, Ukraine and Baltic states boycott

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will participate in the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), at which Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to attend.

Ukraine and the Baltic countries announced a boycott.

Read also: First Estonia, now Malta and the Secretary-General – Russia keeps blocking appointments at OSCE

"We respect the opportunity for each country to decide whether they should participate or not,” a U.S. State Department representative stated on Nov. 28.

“We believe this is a useful forum for interaction with OSCE members, so we plan to attend it.”

A U.S. meeting with Lavrov is not expected to occur.

The meeting of foreign ministers from 57 OSCE member countries is scheduled to take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 in Skopje, North Macedonia.

Read also: ‘Pragmatic & sober’ — Austrian FM explains invite of Russia’s Lavrov to OSCE meeting in Skopje

Blinken intends to visit the meeting as a sign of “solidarity with the North Macedonians who have had a difficult year and have done a wonderful job," as well as to "express solidarity with the other members of OSCE."

Dmytro Kuleba will not participate in the summit due to Lavrov’s presence, the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry announced on Nov. 28. Russia consistently undermines OSCE, abusing the consensus rule, and systematically blocks consensus on key issues, resorting to blackmail and open threats.

Russia illegally detained three Ukrainian representatives of OSCE, who have been in prison for over 500 days.

Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia also refused to participate due to Lavrov’s presence.  Russia and Belarus blocked Estonia’s candidacy for the OSCE Chairmanship in 2024.

Bulgaria confirmed that it allowed its airspace to be opened for the aircraft carrying the Russian delegation.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine