Russia opposes Kazakhstan's OSCE chairmanship

Russia opposes Kazakhstan's OSCE chairmanship

Kazakhstan wanted to become a compromise figure for the OSCE chairmanship in 2024, but Russia was against it.

This was reported to Ukrinform by a Western diplomat at the OSCE, who wished to speak on condition of anonymity.

"After it became clear that Russia would not give in to its unreasonable blocking of Estonia's 2024 chairmanship and the search for compromise figures began, Kazakhstan expressed its readiness to chair the OSCE next year. But the Russian delegation opposed this and dissuaded their Kazakh colleagues from nominating Astana's candidacy," the diplomat said.

According to him, there was also a discussion of Austria as a compromise figure, but the country did not officially put forward its candidacy, and there were "comments from a number of countries."

Read also: OSCE Ministerial Council meeting: 36 countries call on Russia to withdraw forces from Ukraine

When asked why Russia supported the EU member state of Malta as the new OSCE chair, rather than its CSTO ally, he replied that "it is better to ask the Russians themselves about this - none of us talk to them."

The diplomat also expressed his belief that the Russian delegation to the OSCE blocked the adoption of key decisions on the further functioning of the organization, such as the appointment of a new chairmanship and the extension of the mandate of four top officials, including the Secretary General, to create conditions for the reception of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Ministerial Council in Skopje.

"I think that all this blocking by the Russians was primarily aimed at retaining leverage until Lavrov gets to North Macedonia. They were probably afraid that if we agreed on everything now, Lavrov would simply not be invited to Skopje and would not be allowed to fly over," the source said.

As reported, Russia and Belarus vetoed the approval of Estonia's majority-supported candidacy for the OSCE chairmanship in 2024. There was a threat that the OSCE, where the chairmanship rotates between participating countries on an annual basis, would start 2024 without a new chairman.

Read also: Kuleba to boycott OSCE meeting due to Lavrov's presence

After a lengthy debate, the OSCE participating states reached a consensus and agreed that Malta will assume the OSCE chairmanship in 2024. This decision was to be officially approved during a meeting of foreign ministers in the capital of North Macedonia on November 30-December 1.

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