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UPDATE: Security challenges discussed at OSCE conference in Poland's Łódź

01.12.2022 14:00
Foreign policy makers from 57 countries on Thursday began discussing Russia's aggression against Ukraine and other international security challenges at a two-day conference in the central Polish city of Łódź.
Photo:PAP/Roman Zawistowski

Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau greeted those taking part in the international conference in his role as chairman-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Russia 'is a criminal state': Polish president

Polish President Andrzej Duda addressed the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, saying that "lessons must be learned from the events of February 24" when Russia invaded Ukraine.

"We must learn how to consider various scenarios, even those which, according to our European rationality, seem downright improbable," Duda told the gathering.

He said: "Unfortunately, one of the OSCE's member states, Russia, has brutally violated all the rules. There is no doubt that this is a criminal state whose politics cannot be accepted and whose words cannot be believed."

He urged steps to hold Moscow accountable for its "deliberate murder of civilians" in Ukraine and "the kidnapping of Ukrainian children, who are then deported into the depths of Russia."

Duda cautioned: "We cannot consent to any agreement that would sanction a forcible change of borders."

He added that "any peace talks must take place with the voluntary consent of the Ukrainian authorities."

Meanwhile, the Polish foreign minister said during the conference's opening session that, in the face of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, "the OSCE leadership, supported by the vast majority of participating states, has responded to the challenge in a responsible and thoughtful way."

The Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is an annual meeting of foreign ministers from OSCE participating states or their representatives, according to the Polish foreign ministry.

The event, which runs until Friday, is expected to summarise Poland's chairmanship of the organization in 2022.

The Polish foreign ministry said in a statement ahead of the gathering that "ministers or their plenipotentiaries from participating states and OSCE cooperation partners will review and assess the security situation in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian area in the politico-military, economic and environmental, as well as human dimensions over the past 12 months and set goals and mechanisms of action for the upcoming year."

In 2023, the OSCE will be chaired by North Macedonia, the Polish foreign ministry noted.

On Wednesday, Poland's Rau welcomed the "heads of delegations participating in the OSCE Ministerial Council in the Łódź Grand Theater," officials announced.

The Polish foreign minister said that, during itOSCE chairmanship, Poland provided civil society organizations with opportunities for "joint discussion and work," according to officials.

Poland took over the rotating presidency of the OSCE from Sweden in January, with Rau taking a role as the organization’s Chairperson-in-Office.

This is the second time Poland is chairing the organization, with its previous turn at the helm in 1998.


Source: IAR, PAP, gov.pl, prezydent.pl

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.