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Poland boycotts OSCE meeting due to Russia's presence: FM

30.11.2023 06:30
The Polish foreign minister has said he will not attend the annual Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) this week because of the planned presence of Russia's top diplomat.
Polands Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk.
Poland's Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk.X/Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Poland's Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk announced the decision at a news conference in Warsaw on Wednesday, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported.

He said the appearance of Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, at the OSCE Ministerial Meeting was "unacceptable," given the Kremlin's aggression in Ukraine and the war crimes its forces had committed.

Poland's top diplomat added that Russia was "sabotaging the OSCE's budget" and hampering planned personnel changes in the organisation. 

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine also announced they would boycott the 2023 OSCE Ministerial Council due to Russia's presence, Polish state PAP news agency reported.

Earlier this month, Russia and Belarus vetoed Estonia's candidacy to preside over the OSCE in 2024, which was put forward by the European Union countries.

The 2023 OSCE Ministerial Council takes place in Skopje, North Macedonia, on Thursday and Friday.

Lavrov was not invited to last year's meeting in Łódź, Poland, the IAR news agency noted.

The OSCE brings together 57 countries to work for security in Europe in the "politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects," according to officials.

Thursday is day 645 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.