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Speech of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia S. V. Lavrov at the plenary meeting of the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OSCE, Dublin, December 6, 2012

7-12-2012, 14:00



Dear Madam Chairman,

Dear Mr. Secretary General of the OSCE

Dear President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I join to congratulations in relation to Mongolia. I hope our Mongolian friends will contribute to the work of the OSCE.

Two years have passed since at the OSCE summit in Astana the leaders of our countries agreed to form a common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok. We all sincerely hoped that this noble goal, which is in tune with the idea of the Russian European Security Treaty, unite our country and the Organization itself would become the forum of equal and open dialogue, in fact, contributing to the strengthening of confidence, mutual understanding and cooperation.

Unfortunately, the implementation of these tasks have inhibited yet due to the saving of unilateral approaches that prevent uniting of efforts.

As a result, the OSCE is in the side of the key processes in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasia, and the objective need for cohesion of our countries based on common objectives and interests strikes on the non-partner actions leading to the deepening of old and the emergence of new dividing lines in spite of the fundamental principles of the OSCE.

The obligation not to strengthen the security at the expense of others does not receive the practical implementation in the Charter of European Security. You know our point of view – we believe that this phenomenon is particularly clearly seen in the situation surrounding the plans for the creation of European missile defense system.

In general, the situation in the politico-military dimension of the OSCE is characterized by degradation of the regime of conventional arms control and unclear prospects for strengthening of confidence and security. This is the consequence of years of trying to use arms control as a means of achieving of political goals.

Similar approaches distract from the creative team work to counter transnational threats common to all. All new guises are taken by the terrorism - there are «Anders Breiviks» and «arrows of Toulouse». Public sentiments are radicalized. Organized crime, trafficking of persons and human organs are expanded. No one is safe from man-made and natural disasters. Sophisticated forms are acquired by drug distribution - especially natural and synthetic drugs.

Not all in our economic cooperation are simple. The Euro zone is experiencing the recession period. People are losing their jobs, social tensions are rising, and police is being forced to suppress the protests. The right of citizens to work and dignity is being forgotten. The practice of applying of sanctions is being continued that is contrary to the obligations of the Helsinki Final Act.

Russia has long called on the OSCE to draw attention to the social and economic aspects of human rights. We hope that the life forces to establish pragmatic cooperation in the framework of the «second basket» of the OSCE including good management and fight with corruption.

In general, Russia is committed to its international obligations in the area of providing of human rights and calls for their implementation by all states in full.

Therefore, we are concerned that in the OSCE there is the saving of visa barriers. The obligations of the Helsinki Final Act, which in 1975 were aimed at the elimination of the «Iron Curtain», are not implemented. Today we face with the same obstacles in the visa dialogue with the EU. For several years the OSCE have rejected our proposals on the implementation of commitments on providing of freedom of movement. We hope that it will be able to start a meaningful dialogue on this issue in 2013.

We are concerned that neo-Nazism looks up in Europe. There are the marches of veterans of Waffen-SS, the Nazis monuments are established. It is regrettable that on this background the OSCE failed to ensure the consensus around the draft decision on the fight against neo-Nazism and aggressive nationalism.

This year has been full of elections. They were held in Russia, USA, France, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and a number of other countries. In ODIHR work on election observation double standards were again showed. Hundreds of observers were sent to some places, a few of them to other places. The same facts in different countries, such as early voting, were evaluated differently. We strongly suggest making of the comparative analysis of the electoral legislation of all countries of the OSCE and developing of rules of election observation. The draft decision of the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs was put forward by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Hundreds of thousands of people within the EU do not have voting rights. They are «non-citizens». It is significantly how intentionally Latvian authorities deal with democratic principles that abolished the collection of signatures in favor of the referendum on the issue of the elimination of statelessness. This is the serious problem for the OSCE and the European Union. It should be solved in accordance with the recommendations of international organizations

Questions regarding to the rights of children born in mixed marriages appear more often. As a result, they suffer, when the guardianship exercise their wrongful removal from their families or prevent the return to the homeland. We offer to start the dialogue on this pressing humanitarian issue in the OSCE in 2013.

Recently, in the OSCE much attention is paid to the theme of Internet. There is the development of confidence-building measures in the field of information and communication technologies. This is important work, and it should be continued.

We examined the proposals to extend freedom working in real life in the framework of the virtual space. This topic is complex. Internet encompasses many areas - from communication between people to the issues of trade, advertising, copyright, protection of personal data. It is enough to recall what public outcry was caused by the agreement on the fight against counterfeit digital products – ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). Crimes are carried out via the Internet – from a fraud and cybernetic attacks to drug selling and terrorist acts. There is the arising of the issues of national sovereignty, the responsibility of companies that control cybernetic space taking a lot of profit from it. All this should be discussed in the complex.

Actual problem related to the information and communication technologies is the interference in the private lives of citizens including the wiretaps and interception of communications. We put forward the draft decision and look forward to the constructive dialogue.

Regional conflicts represent the serious threat to security. The history of many of them, such as the Cyprus regulation, has more than a decade. We welcome the initiative of the OSCE Chairman to educate the participating countries with experience of finding solutions to the problems of Northern Ireland.

Tensions in Kosovo are maintaining, where ethnic incidents do not stop, the rights of the non-Albanian population are violated. We believe that the main tool of situation stabilization is the process of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina. The legal basis is the resolution of the UN Security Council 1244. The international presences in the region including the OSCE mission should strictly follow the mandates on the status-neutral basis.

We support the continuation of the dialogue on the Transnistrian regulation in the framework of «5+2» format. So we are ready to contribute to the gradual build-up of measures of trust and practical cooperation thus creating the conditions for approval of the viable and equitable political regulation of the Transnistrian problem.

Together with other co-chairmen of Minsk Group (MG) of the OSCE - the United States and France - we will continue to promote the convergence of positions of the parties of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We see no other variants for the regulation, except on the basis of peace negotiations between the conflicting parties. Proposals of co-chairmen of the Minsk Group in this regard are well known.

The Geneva discussions on the issues of security and stability in the Caucasus remain the important stabilizing factor in the region. The main thing is that all their members are aware of the existing today’s reality and do not try to blur the agreed agenda.

Dear colleagues,

We are going to mark the 40-th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act in three years. We supported the initiative of Ireland on the process start of the «Helsinki plus 40».

Russia has long pushed for the reform of the OSCE, the correction of imbalances in its work, strengthening of the legal framework through the development of the legally binding Charter.

Mongolia's accession Talks on accession of Mongolia in the OSCE demonstrated that our Organization needs the developments of common criteria for membership.

The EU pretends to more significant role in the OSCE. We are ready to consider proposals for changes in procedures of the OSCE to develop contacts with international organizations including the EU, the CSTO and the Eurasian Economic Commission.

All these and other aspects of the needed reforms will be considered during the process course of «Helsinki plus 40». Russia will take part in it in a constructive and pragmatic way. We hope on the positive outcome.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Irish Presidency for its work, the excellent organization of the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, hospitality and wish success to our Ukrainian friends next year.



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