Russian foreign minister and OSCE chair to meet in Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will today discuss OSCE cooperation and activity with his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde in Moscow.

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Photo: OSCE/MFA Sweden

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will today discuss OSCE cooperation and activity with his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde in Moscow. Linde serves as the current Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office.

Increasing tensions between Washington and Moscow have resulted in a military build-up in the Baltic and Arctic. Russia views the Arctic as critical to its power status—it is home to its nuclear fleet, and Russia has reopened former Soviet Arctic military bases. Similarly, the US has increased its engagement: in July, the Air Force revealed its first-ever Arctic Strategy.

This activity concerns OSCE leadership, which has failed to lower tensions. OSCE member Russia has accused the organisation of being a tool to force-feed Western values on others.

Expect Linde and Lavrov to negotiate a mostly Baltic-focused agreement—Russia’s Artic expanse is too vast for Europe to substantially dictate or compel Russian policy there. Russia will likely ramp down its Baltic military exercises if NATO does the same, a victory for the OSCE. A pause on the troop build-up in the region is also not out of the question—especially if the OSCE continues to respond to Russia’s suppression of protests with little more than rhetoric.

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