Russian Foreign Ministry: OSCE is not a commercial stall that can be closed for losses | Latest news The Moscow Post
03 March 2024

Russian Foreign Ministry: OSCE is not a commercial stall that can be closed for losses

Today there was another briefing by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. Traditionally, the correspondent of The Moscow Post asked his questions.

Minister Sergei Lavrov recently said that "the OSCE can still try to save, but the chances are small." And yet, all these humiliating conditions for participation in the meeting of ministers: EU sanctions, an invitation from North Macedonia, permission to fly through Bulgarian airspace.

"Why save the OSCE?," - asked the journalist of our publication.

The diplomat pointed out that the current crisis of the Organization has developed as a result of the destructive actions of Western countries that neglect the fundamental principles of the OSCE. The statements and initiatives of the main OSCE functionaries (Chairman-in-Office, Secretary-General) and heads of institutions (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Representative on Freedom of the Media) lose political weight, since they do not rely on the consensus position of all participating states.

Nevertheless, it is possible to try to save the opportunity to maintain a dialogue on the key problems of Europe, relying on the fundamental principles of the OSCE, including equality and consensus. Making such decisions requires a lot of strength and diplomatic skills. But as preparations for the upcoming SMID in Skopje show, they are still possible.

"The OSCE is not a commercial stall that has ceased to make a profit, and it needs to be closed to reduce losses. This is, in fact, the last remaining platform for dialogue on European affairs, where we conduct constant, difficult and difficult work with our opponents. We raise the most pressing topics at the Organization's events: the fight against terrorism and traffic in prohibited substances, the protection of traditional values, the fight against neo-Nazism, falsification of history, Christian and Islamophobia. Russia regularly informs the delegations of the participating states about the implementation of the goals of the special military operation, the war crimes of the Kyiv regime, attacks on the UOC, launched in Ukraine and in Western countries a full-scale campaign to "abolish" the Russian language and culture, and oppress the Russian media abroad. "

With regard to the conditions for participation in the SMID, it is necessary to understand that a formal invitation from the organizers of the event, permission to fly the aircraft, etc., are absolutely normal, routine things. In the case when international events are held on our territory, we also observe certain formalities and require compliance with certain rules. Emotions are not appropriate here.

Another question from our publication touched upon the topic of relations with Finland. The Prime Minister of this country said that his government is preparing new restrictions on the border with Russia due to the uncontrolled arrival of third-country citizens.

"Could you explain how this problem appeared in bilateral relations and what can Russian citizens expect related to Finland with family relations, work or property?," The journalist asked.

On November 29 this year, a note was received from the Finnish Embassy in Moscow notifying the Russian side of the decision of the Finnish authorities to close the northernmost Raya-Yoseppi checkpoint from November 30 this year. Thus, all checkpoints on the Russian-Finnish border will be closed. It is also reported that the imposed restrictions will be valid until December 14 this year.

Finally, the diplomat was asked to assess the prospects for relations with the Netherlands after the election victory of Geert Wilders' party. "Does it seem that he is determined to engage constructively with Russia? How can this affect the export of Russian LNG?, "- questions were asked.

Maria Zakharova noted that she got acquainted with the results of the early parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, which clearly demonstrated the dissatisfaction of a significant part of the country's population with the policies of the government of Mark Rutte.

Geert Wilders occupies a prominent place on the Dutch political scene and traditionally attracts the attention of observers. In 2018, he visited Moscow as part of Russian-Dutch inter-parliamentary contacts. As for any forecasts regarding the construction of relations with Russia by the new Dutch government and the potential influence of Geert Wilders on this process, it is too early to judge this. As a result of the elections, it is only yet to form a ruling coalition, which will determine the key directions of Dutch domestic and foreign policy. We will judge on specific cases.

The development of LNG infrastructure is our priority in the energy sector. We see great potential here: Russia intends to increase LNG production from the current 33 to 100 million tons per year by 2030. We expect that our country's share in global LNG production will grow from 8 to 20%.

Russian energy exporters, including LNG, are guided exclusively by market principles and are always ready to guarantee sustainable supplies if there is demand, which naturally strengthens the energy security of consumer countries and helps maintain the competitiveness of their economies. At the same time, Russia does not intend to impose anything on anyone. Artificial political barriers to energy are not our choice.

Photo: Riamo

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