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On June 21, Moscow will host talks between Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid (FRG). This is her first visit to Russia in this capacity.

During the talks, it is planned to comprehensively discuss topical pan-European problems, the current activities of the OSCE and the work plans of the Organization in the second half of 2021. It will be noted that the OSCE has a significant potential as a platform for mutually respectful dialogue and constructive interaction of 57 participating States. To implement it, it is necessary to restore confidence on the platform of the Organization, abandon accusatory rhetoric and focus on unifying themes in the three “dimensions” of the OSCE’s activities: military-political, economic-ecological and humanitarian.

In particular, an exchange of views will take place on the interaction of the participating States within the framework of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, on the “structured dialogue” on security challenges and threats going on since 2017, its contribution to restoring confidence and de-escalating tensions.

It is expected to consider issues related to the OSCE’s assistance in resolving conflicts in eastern Ukraine, Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the Organization’s mediation in the Geneva discussions on stability in the Transcaucasus, its activities in the Balkans and Central Asia.

With regard to the internal Ukrainian conflict, it is planned to discuss the work of the Contact Group, in which the OSCE coordinates a direct dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk as parties to the conflict in order to implement the Minsk Package of Measures. Let us call on the OSCE leadership to influence Kiev, which sabotages the implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures and evades dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.

The activities of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine will be substantively considered, and our comments on its reports will be expressed. Observers are in no hurry to confirm data on casualties and damage to civilian objects in Donbass. It has become less common to indicate the side from which the shelling was conducted, although there are opportunities to determine this. Let us emphasize that the mission’s mandate covers the entire territory of Ukraine. Observers should report on the situation with respect to human rights, pay attention to the situation of national minorities. Nevertheless, insufficient attention is paid to these aspects, especially in the context of the rampant neo-Nazism in the country, violation of the linguistic and educational rights of its citizens.

The agenda of the talks will include the topic of strengthening the OSCE’s potential in combating threats common to all participating States – international terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, and challenges in cyberspace. The parties expect to discuss the preparation of OSCE profile events, interaction on this issue with the CSTO, the CIS and the SCO.

An exchange of views will take place on the OSCE’s economic and environmental dimension, including overcoming the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, strengthening the Eurasian trade and transport interconnection.

It is planned to consider the work of the OSCE on humanitarian issues. Among our priorities are the protection of traditional values, the rights of national minorities, religious and linguistic rights, ensuring freedom of the media, countering Christian and Islamophobia, attempts to rewrite and falsify history, and combating manifestations of aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism.

Special attention will be paid to the activities of the specialized institutions and field missions of the OSCE, to rectifying thematic and geographical imbalances in their work.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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