TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna has expressed regret over Russia and Belarus's decision to veto Estonia's chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2024.
"It is regrettable that due to Russia's and Belarus's veto, Estonia's candidacy for the OSCE chairmanship in 2024 was not confirmed today [on Tuesday] in Vienna," Tsahkna was quoted by spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying.
Tsahkna stated that Russia's actions obstruct the work of the entire organization because Moscow has for several years not allowed the approval of the organization's budget, the organization of official OSCE events, the extension of missions, and has, among other things, put an end to all OSCE missions in Ukraine, which has fallen victim to Russian aggression.
"Now we are in a situation where, due to Russia and Belarus, the OSCE has not confirmed its chair just a short month and a half before the new year, even though Estonia has been a joint candidate of the European Union for this position since 2020," Tsahkna noted.
"With Russia violating all OSCE principles by waging a bloody war of aggression, it is unacceptable to succumb to Moscow's demands and extortion, including its desire for the next OSCE chair not to be a NATO ally. At this moment, we must isolate Russia comprehensively on the international stage, rather than seeking solutions that please Moscow," the Estonian foreign minister said.
Tsahkna highlighted that Estonia continues to believe that the OSCE must firmly uphold its core values, and concessions to aggressors should be ruled out.
"The OSCE has evolved from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), which has always aimed to promote dialogue between East and West from the very beginning. Therefore, the OSCE has never consisted solely of like-minded countries. Although the OSCE's activities have always been marked by confrontations from the start, the organization has never been in such a serious crisis as it is now," he added.