Monday, September 25, 2023

Lithuania to Boycott OSCE Session in Vienna

Must Read
Laura Niklas
Laura Niklas
Laura Niklas is a talented journalist with a passion for uncovering under-reported stories. With over seven years of experience, she has made a name for herself in the industry with her in-depth reporting and unique perspective. Laura holds a degree in journalism from the University of Salzburg and has worked for top Austrian newspapers. Her work has been recognized with several awards and she is dedicated to delivering thought-provoking journalism to her readers. Known for her determination and integrity, Laura is a valuable member of the Austrian journalism community.
Lithuania to Boycott OSCE Session in Vienna

Lithuania has announced that it will boycott the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna after Russia was allowed to participate. The session is scheduled to take place on 23-24 February, a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to The Guardian, 18 Russian lawmakers are expected to attend the meeting.

The head of the Lithuanian parliamentary delegation, Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė, said that the decision not to attend the session was unanimous among the position and opposition parties in the Lithuanian parliament. Lithuania, along with the Nordic, Baltic, and Polish parliamentary delegations, issued a joint statement earlier this month, calling for an international legal mechanism to be created to hold Russia accountable and responsible for its actions in Ukraine. The statement also noted that Russia’s participation in the OSCE PA meeting in Vienna would be used for propaganda both at home and abroad, and “would send a very disappointing message to the international community.”

Although Lithuanian MPs invited their Nordic, Baltic, and Polish counterparts to join a boycott, the latter declined to do so. Aleknaitė-Abramikienė stated that representatives of other countries decided to “fight the Russians in the same hall.”

All members of the Russian delegation have been on the EU sanctions lists since the beginning of 2014. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg recently said Vienna should allow delegates from all participating states to enter Austria, but he also regretted the meeting’s planned date as “a very unfortunate one.” “But at the same time, we must not disregard the fact that we need platforms,” he added in an interview with the Austrian Public Broadcast’s show Zeit im Bild earlier this week.

Russia has caused problems in the OSCE for the past 18 months by failing to approve key matters, including budgets and mandates. This has caused the organization to plunge into an administrative deadlock, which has created uncertainty about future operations and chairmanships. There is no mechanism within the OSCE to remove or prohibit members from participating. Therefore, any move to prevent Russia from attending would likely have to relate to postponements or refusals to issue visas.

Lithuania to boycott OSCE decision in Vienna over Russia’s participation is a bold move that has drawn attention to Russia’s continued aggression towards Ukraine. The Nordic, Baltic, and Polish parliamentary delegations’ joint statement calling for Russia to be held accountable for its actions in Ukraine and for an international legal mechanism to be created is a significant development. While there is no mechanism within the OSCE to remove or prohibit members from participating, postponements or refusals to issue visas could be a way to prevent Russia from attending in the future.

Latest News

Austria Health Minister Addresses COVID Vaccination Confusion

Health Minister Johannes Rauch, from the Greens, expressed concern over the perplexing COVID-19 vaccination options for practicing doctors. He...

More Articles Like This