Status: 01/13/2022 2:07 pm
After the United States and NATO, the OSCE now deals with tensions with Russia: despite Poland’s warnings of a high risk of war, the organization continues to rely on dialogue. More intense tones are coming from Moscow.
Zbigniew Rau, Polish Foreign Minister and head of the Organization for Defense and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), sees the risk of war in Europe in view of the Ukraine crisis and tensions with Russia that are now greater than they were 30 years ago. . At the meeting of the organization, he mentioned, among other things, the deployment of the current Russian troops near Ukraine.
“We must focus on a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine and its environs,” Rao warned. Rao said the current crisis “threatens the stability and security of the entire European system.” He said the organization was a good platform to talk about the security concerns of some states and to initiate confidence-building activities.
The meeting follows bilateral US-Russia crisis talks on Monday and a rare meeting of 30 NATO nations with Russia on Wednesday. However, the meetings did not make progress.
Now, at the OSCE meeting, Russia has insisted that a decision be made in advance on the security guarantees Russia is seeking. Alexander Lukashevich, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE, said that delaying the talks “would lead to an inevitable deterioration in the security situation in all states without exception.” “Russia is a country that wants peace. But we do not want peace at any cost.”
From a Western perspective, many Russian troops pose a threat to Ukraine, while Moscow sees itself as being threatened by NATO, the Atlantic military alliance, and demands that the alliance not accept any new members, such as Ukraine or Georgia.
The United States is discussing sanctions against Putin
Russia has also warned the United States to impose sanctions on President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The imposition of sanctions on a head of state violates a limit and breaks relations.” In the event of an invasion of Ukraine, the United States and other states threatened Russia with such sanctions.
Democratic U.S. senators on Wednesday tabled a bill imposing sanctions on Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishin, top military officials and the Russian banking sector if Russia invades Ukraine.
Moscow denies any plans for an attack. Peskov criticized the US senators’ move as not helping to create “a constructive environment” for international debate on the Ukraine conflict.
“OSCE is better for dialogue in synonyms”
The United States has reiterated that it intends to hold talks with Russia and other states on measures to enhance military communication and confidence within the framework of the OSCE. US Ambassador Michael Carpenter said the forum was ideal for a dialogue on an equal footing to reduce current tensions. “Only OSCE can sit together at one table with equal votes from all 57 participating countries.”
Carpenter stressed that in future OSCE talks no regional spheres of influence should be defined. States should not limit their right to freely choose their allies.
Relations with Russia are subject to discussions between EU foreign ministers and defense ministers in Brest. Ahead of the meeting, Union Foreign Minister Annalena Barbach stressed that Europe must play a strong role in resolving the crisis in Ukraine. This is “particularly important because the EU’s own interests have been affected,” the Green politician said. At the same time, the EU needs a “strategic compass”, especially when dealing with authoritarian countries such as Russia. “If Europe goes in a common direction and works together, it’s a heavyweight – if it splits, it fights under its weight class.”
Russia is militant
After several meetings Russia drew a negative balance and warned of a stalemate in negotiations. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybkov criticized the US and other countries’ insecurity over Russia’s demands for security guarantees. Therefore, he did not see the reason for further talk. Instead, Russia will use “other measures and techniques” related to the West. Toss quoted Ryapkov as saying that military experts would offer options to President Vladimir Putin if the situation in Ukraine worsens. But diplomacy must be given a chance.
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