Sherman Wants OSCE To Be a Platform for Deescalating Tensions over Ukraine
Jan. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)—According to a State Department readout attributed to Ned Price, Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman, who led the U.S. delegation in the strategic talks this past week with Russia, spoke on Jan. 14 with Organization of Security and Cooperation for Europe (OSCE) Secretary General Helga Schmid about using the OSCE as a platform to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine. They also welcomed the OSCE Polish Chairman-in-Office Zbigniew Rau’s proposal to launch a revitalized European security dialogue at the OSCE. The readout stated:
“This dialogue will enable all 57 OSCE participating States to discuss urgent issues affecting European security, such as Russia’s continued and unprovoked military build-up on Ukraine’s borders.” Nonetheless the Deputy Secretary and OSCE Secretary General agreed that “the OSCE is a critical venue to reduce insecurity and build trust in the region.”
Today TASS reports that Rau plans to visit Moscow in mid-February citing a statement by Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina on Jan. 15. Rau will first visit Ukraine and the United States. “And in the middle of next month, most probably, on Feb. 15, the OSCE chair will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. A visit to Moscow is a normal procedure for the OSCE chair as Russia is one of the most important member states of that organization,” he said.
At a session of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Jan. 13, Poland’s Foreign Minister Rau outlined priorities of the country’s OSCE’s presidency. They included preventing conflicts and engaging in the search for solutions to security challenges in Eastern Europe and also readiness for dialogue.
Russia has also sought for the OSCE—comprised of all European countries, including the Central Asian and the Caucasian nations that were former Soviet republics—to be an appropriate forum for discussion of Russia’s security concerns. Furthermore, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has gone a step further and has called for a summit of all the heads of government and state to be held in 2025, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Accords, as a effort to revitalize the organization as a means of reducing tension, building trust, and enhancing the security of all of Euro