OSCE 30th Ministerial Council meets in Skopje

30th OSCE Ministerial Council
The 30th OSCE Ministerial Council begins in Skopje, North Macedonia today. Photo: OSCE

The 30th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation In Europe (OSCE) will begin today in Skopje, North Macedonia.

The OSCE is an intergovernmental organization—comprised of 54 member states from North America and Eurasia— which focuses on matters concerning human rights, press freedom, and election freedom. Tensions will be high due to the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Baltics are boycotting to protest an alleged attempt to legitimize Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, and the detention of Ukrainian OSCE delegates in Russian prisons.

Despite the hostile rhetoric surrounding this event, expect the meeting to be a major platform for Russia and the West to hold talks on reaching a political settlement during the short-to medium-term. Germany may be instrumental in advocating for a shift in the EU’s approach towards Moscow due to Berlin’s manufacturing sector being severely hit following the cutting off of Russian natural gas. Berlin’s initiative will likely see objections from other Western states—such as the UK and Poland—that are in favor of remaining tough on Moscow. Ultimately, the latter side will likely prevail due to the continued negative attitudes against the Kremlin.

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