Estonian MP: Russia committed to destroying normal functioning of OSCE

  • 2023-11-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The challenge for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is to remain an organization in the current era of conflicts and to preserve its values, the head of the Estonian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Mati Raidma, said at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the assembly's delegation leaders in Yerevan, Armenia.

"We have failed to uphold the principles agreed when the organization was established. And worst of all, some of our own members are now totally opposed to these principles," the Estonian MP said in his speech.

According to Raidma, Russia is trying to achieve a security logic in the region that is based on its own rules, which has nothing to do with democratic values.

"Russia is committed to the complete destruction of the normal functioning of the OSCE. Unfortunately, the reaction of our organization has been: we hope for a better future. This cannot be the case," he said.

The MP added that the future of the security organization is in the hands of its members, and Estonia is ready to contribute to it.

Estonia was supposed to hold the OSCE chairmanship next year, but Russia has completely blocked it. Estonia will continue to contribute to both the organization and its parliamentary dimension, the OSCE PA. It was decided to accept the assembly's request to allocate slightly more than originally planned to next year's budget in order to increase the OSCE PA's capacity to maintain and enhance its role in the current security situation.

As part of the autumn meeting of the OSCE PA, the assembly's Standing Committee met on Saturday, and a parliamentary conference was held on Saturday and Sunday, where the organization's role in the current conflicts in the region was discussed. On Monday, the OSCE PA Mediterranean Forum will take place, with the focus on Gaza.

Estonia is represented at the fall session of the OSCE PA, taking place in Yerevan from Nov. 18 to 20, by the chairman of the Estonian delegation, Mati Raidma, and member of the delegation Heljo Pikhof.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly aims to increase the involvement of member states in European political and security affairs, enhance civilian control over military issues and increase the accountability and influence of members of parliaments.