European Dissonance at OSCE Meeting in Skopje: Meeting between Schallenberg and Lavrov

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: November 30, 2023; 20:05 ♦ (Vindobona)

At the annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Skopje, a growing dissent among European states regarding the Ukraine crisis was revealed. While several EU states, including Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states, boycotted the meeting in protest against the participation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, bilateral talks were held between him and several EU foreign ministers, including Austria's Alexander Schallenberg.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov's participation in the OSCE meeting caused controversy, as he questioned the organization's future and met with Western foreign ministers bilaterally. / Picture: © English: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Wikimedia Commons / English: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, OGL v1.0OGL v1.0

Schallenberg, who welcomed North Macedonia's decision to invite Lavrov, used the meeting to discuss the OSCE's leadership positions with Lavrov. He also criticized the OSCE states for their passivity and warned against a "negligent killing" of the organization. Schallenberg emphasized the importance of the OSCE and offered support to the future Chairmanship country Malta. In his speech,…