This article was last updated on November 28, 2023
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Ukraine and Baltic states take a stand
Ukraine and the Baltic states will not attend a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) because Russia is welcome there. The countries reported this on Tuesday.
The foreign ministers of the 57 OSCE member states have been invited to the consultations in North Macedonia this week. Russia is also a member of the organization.
The Ukrainian delegation led by Minister Dmytro Kuleba will stay away in protest against the invitation to Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Ukrainian ministry said.
Baltic states’ joint statement
Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia said in a joint statement that Lavrov’s planned presence “risks legitimizing aggressor Russia as a rightful member of our community of free nations.”
Russia’s absence at last year’s summit
Lavrov did not attend the OSCE summit last year because, much to the dismay of Russia, Chairman Poland did not allow this due to the war in Ukraine. North Macedonia is currently the chairman.
It is not yet certain whether Lavrov will actually be present at the meeting. According to the minister, this is only possible if North Macedonia and Bulgaria open the airspace for the Russian delegation.
The consultation in Skopje is attended by, among others, the foreign ministers of the United States, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. The meeting starts on Thursday and lasts two days. The organization was originally founded to reduce tensions during the Cold War.