Russia’s Lavrov says OSCE security body is hobbled by West

Dec 1 (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that big problems had accumulated in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), accusing the West of spurning the chance to make the European security watchdog a real bridge with Russia after the Cold War.

Lavrov made the comments at the start of a news conference, during which he gave a long recital of Russian historical grievances against the West, saying the “reckless enlargement” of NATO had devalued the basic principles of the OSCE.

“Taking advantage of its numerical superiority in this organization, the West has been trying for many years to, if you like, privatise it. Or perhaps it’s more correct to say it is trying to carry out a takeover raid on the OSCE, to subjugate this last platform for regional dialogue,” Lavrov said.

Ukraine has also been critical of the OSCE, saying Russia should be removed from it following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Kyiv also objected to the title of an event at a meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in the Polish city of Lodz that referred to the organisation being at a crossroads.

“I dared to disagree with the title. OSCE is on a highway to hell because Russia abuses its rules and principles…,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

“Everything has been tried in regards to Russia: to please, to appease, to be nice, to be neutral, to engage, not to call a spade a spade. The bottom line: it would be better for OSCE to carry on without Russia.”