OSCE Secretary General Does Not See Russia’s Expulsion as a Solution

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: January 9, 2023; 23:44 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) was originally founded to promote dialogue between Eastern and Western Europe. In a recent interview, Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid explains why the exclusion of Russia despite the war is unthinkable.

According to Secretary General Helga Maria Schmidt, Excluding Russia is not a Solution for the OSCE / Picture: © OSCE / Micky Kroell (CC BY-ND 4.0)

According to Helga Schmid of the OSCE, "it makes sense" that Russia should remain within the organization to maintain diplomatic relations. "A day will come when conversation means will be needed again," Schmid said, adding that "the OSCE is the only security organization where everyone involved in European security architecture sits at one table", she said according to Welt.

According to Yahoo News, Schmid explains that the OSCE does not have a suspension mechanism to exclude Russia because it is not an organization of like-minded people like the EU or NATO. She explained that the OSCE emerged from a Cold War confrontation between countries with diverse interests but a common desire to prevent escalation. Furthermore, Schmid told Welt that Russia's membership in the OSCE does not mean all members support its actions, adding that Poland, which chaired the OSCE in 2022, continued to discuss Russia's war against Ukraine. Business as usual was not an option, she said.

Earlier, according to Kyiv Independent, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the OSCE to expel Russia, saying its participation was "a threat to security and cooperation in Europe." On March 31, Russia blocked the extension of the mission's mandate, leading to the closure of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in April.