'No Planned Interactions With Russia': U.S. Envoy Rules Out Direct Blinken-Lavrov Encounter At OSCE Summit
The U.S. ambassador to the OSCE on Tuesday ruled out a potential direct meeting between the top U.S. diplomat Antony Blinken and Russia's Sergey Lavrov during the OSCE Ministerial summit which will officially kick off tomorrow in Skopje, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.
"We have no planned interactions with Russia. ...In fact, I don’t think there will be any crossing of paths at this ministerial council with Secretary Blinken," Ambassador Michael Carpenter told a virtual briefing organized by the State Department's Brussels Media Hub.
Blinken is slated to arrive in Skopje tonight where he will attend a cultural reception and working dinner on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial.
He will tomorrow join the Ministerial Council to underscore "a few key messages," as Ambassador Carpenter put it, including elaborating on the U.S. enduring commitment to Ukraine and its people.
Ukraine, however, along with Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, on Tuesday said their foreign ministers would boycott a OSCE meeting this time because Lavrov intends to take part.
"Europe needs security from and against Russia, rather than together with it," said the joint statement by Baltic Foreign Ministers.
"Why would I fly to the OSCE in Skopje to 'discuss European security' with a man who shouldn't be allowed to fly to democratic countries unless his destination is The Hague?" Lithuania’s FM Gabrielius Landsbergis asked in a post on X, still known as Twitter.
U.S. Ambassador Carpenter, when pressed by TURAN's Washington correspondent during Tuesday's virtual briefing, didn't seem to disagree with the Baltic ministers. However, he reminded that Russia has participated in G20 meetings and in the UNGA; it is a participating state of the OSCE, and, "whether you like it or not, there is no mechanism in the OSCE for expelling a participating state," as he put it.
"And certainly, especially if you have consensus minus two, there is no mechanism for suspension either... So we are in a position where... we don’t just seek, but we have successfully isolated Russia in the OSCE and condemned, documented, and exposed its many atrocities," he added.
"And I expect that that will be the theme, of condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, in all its forms. That will be a theme at this ministerial council as well," he said.
According to him, in the OSCE, Russia is completely isolated. "No other participating state supports its war of aggression, which is condemned by every single meeting of the Permanent Council."
Carpenter also made it clear that Washington will "not accept any return to business as usual in the midst of this aggression, which has resulted in the largest land war on the European continent since WWII".
"There cannot be and there will not be any normalization of brutality," he said.
The Ambassador also reminded that Russia is currently holding three OSCE Special Monitoring Mission staff members – they’re all Ukrainians and they’re being held in detention on spurious charges.
OSCE is working on the ground inside Ukraine. It is carrying out 19 projects through the donor-funded Support Program for Ukraine. "These projects include support programs for humanitarian demining, mitigating the environmental impacts of the war, and providing psychosocial support for Ukrainian families," Carpenter said.
Another issue that Secretary Blinken is planning to highlight in Skopje is the commitment of all OSCE participating states to human rights and democracy.
According to Ambassador Carpenter, some participating states, notably the Russia and Belarus, have "completely turned their backs on these commitments – which are so clearly enunciated in the Charter of Paris, which I would remind is a document that was signed by all OSCE heads of state."
Blinken will also underscore the firm U.S. support for the OSCE’s core institutions. "The OSCE needs strong executives. We, the United States, will support Malta’s chairpersonship however we can. We will also support an extension of the mandate of our top leadership in the organization, starting with Secretary General Helga Schmid, Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro, ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci, and High Commissioner for National Minorities Kairat Abdrakhmanov," Carpenter concluded.
Gevorg Papoyan is appointed Armenia economy minister
05 March 2024 / 11:45
Kremlin: Putin has no plans for contacts with Pashinyan yet
04 March 2024 / 13:09
Ex-ambassador: Armenian FM marks Diplomat's Day in Turkey
04 March 2024 / 12:06
Greece defense minister to arrive in Armenia Monday
04 March 2024 / 11:58
Freedom House: Azerbaijani leadership may launch a full-scale invasion of the Republic of Armenia
01 March 2024 / 13:02
Russia MFA on Russian border guards in Nerkin Hand village: Armenia Security Council chief distorts facts
29 February 2024 / 12:04
Miller: Washington continues to encourage Armenia, Azerbaijan to reach lasting agreement
28 February 2024 / 13:43
Armenia, Azerbaijan FMs’ talk kicks off in Berlin
28 February 2024 / 13:03
Armenian, Azeri FMs to meet in Berlin in late February
27 February 2024 / 11:21
Kremlin: Putin did not talk with Pashinyan about Armenia's CSTO membership
27 February 2024 / 11:15
Armenia PM travels to Greece with wife
27 February 2024 / 11:08
Bayramov: Armenia, Azerbaijan to hold fresh talks soon
26 February 2024 / 13:32
Moscow street named after Soviet spying legend Gevork Vartanian
26 February 2024 / 13:04
France defense minister: Armenia will be provided with short-, medium-range missiles if necessary
23 February 2024 / 15:34
Armenian defense minister warns of risk of Azerbaijani attack
23 February 2024 / 15:08