Friday, June 14

On the upcoming working visit to Russia of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Z.Rau

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On February 15, in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Pay, who will arrive in Russia on a visit as the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

S.V. Lavrov’s previous meeting with Z.The Rau took place in New York in September 2021. “on the sidelines” of the high-level week of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

The current OSCE Chairmanship, elected by the participating States of the Organization for one calendar year, is responsible for coordinating actions and conducting consultations on current affairs, appointing heads of field missions and special representatives on conflicts and problematic issues, holding meetings of decision-making bodies and other events. The country assuming the responsibility to lead the OSCE is obliged to focus on consensus approaches, take into account the full range of opinions of the participating States and strictly follow the mandate of the chairmanship, enshrined in the decisions of the Council of Foreign Ministers in October 2002. on the role of the Current Chairmanship and the Post-Council No. 485 of 2002 on public speeches on behalf of the Organization.

During the talks, it is expected to discuss the OSCE’s current tasks in three dimensions of security – military-political, economic-environmental and humanitarian – and the Organization’s work plans in 2022.

Ways to improve the effectiveness of the OSCE will be discussed. We believe that the long overdue reform of the OSCE should be aimed at ensuring transparency and increasing the impact of the work of the Organization’s Secretariat, institutions and field presences, improving the methodology of election observation, optimizing the program of events and preparation of the Foreign Ministry, balancing the three “baskets”, improving the budget process. Its results could become an important element of preparation for the 50th anniversary of the CSCE/OSCE in 2025.

There will be an exchange of views on the state of the Euro-security architecture. The Russian side will emphasize the importance of a common understanding of the principle of indivisibility of security, which is crucial for maintaining peace and stability in Europe, and the obligation not to strengthen one’s own security at the expense of the security of other states, enshrined in the fundamental documents of the OSCE – the Charter of European Security adopted at the Organization’s summit in Istanbul in November 1999, and the Astana Declaration of the Summit in December 2010.

The issues of interaction of the participating states within the framework of the OSCE Forum on Security Cooperation, as well as the “structured dialogue” on security challenges and threats going on in the OSCE since 2017, the contribution of these formats to restoring trust and de-escalating tensions in the Euro-Atlantic area will be considered.

A prominent place on the agenda of the talks will be the topic of raising the profile of the OSCE in the fight against transnational threats common to the participating states (including taking into account the consequences of the Afghan crisis) – international terrorism, drug trafficking, challenges in the use of ICT, cross-border organized crime. The parties will discuss the preparation of relevant OSCE events, cooperation on this issue with the CSTO, the CIS and the SCO.

The Ministers will pay attention to the economic and environmental dimension of the OSCE, including the possible contribution of the OSCE to overcoming the socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus, including the restoration of affected industries (in particular, the tourism industry), the development of trade and transport interconnectedness in the interests of interfacing integration processes in the OSCE area with the prospect of forming a Large Eurasian Partnership, cooperation on ecology and climate change, anti-corruption, digital economy development, scientific and technical cooperation.

There will be a “reconciliation of hours” according to the OSCE humanitarian action plans. It is important that they reflect the priority tasks of protecting traditional values, children’s rights, social and economic rights, national minorities, especially their linguistic, educational and religious rights, ensuring media freedom and public access to information, countering attempts to glorify Nazism and falsify history, combating Christian and Islamophobia.

It is planned to consider issues related to the OSCE’s assistance to the settlement of conflicts in eastern Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria, as well as the Organization’s mediation in the Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia, its activities in the Balkans and Central Asia.

With regard to the situation in Ukraine, emphasis will be placed on the work of the OSCE-coordinated Contact Group, the need for direct dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk as parties to the conflict in order to fully and consistently implement the Minsk Package of Measures. There will be an exchange of views on the activities of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which is designed to monitor the situation in Donbass with an open mind and support the observance of human rights and national minorities throughout the country. The Mission’s impartial work in strict accordance with its mandate is particularly in demand against the background of the ongoing rampant aggressive nationalism, violent Ukrainization and violations of the linguistic, educational and religious rights of citizens, primarily Russian-speaking. We are waiting for thematic reports from the SMM on the victims and destruction of civilian infrastructure over the entire period of the conflict, as well as on manifestations of aggressive nationalism, neo-Nazism and xenophobia.

The activities of the OSCE specialized institutions (the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the High Commissioner for National Minorities, the Representative for Freedom of the Media) will be examined through the prism of their compliance with existing mandates and the elimination of complaints against them from the participating States. Regarding the electoral activities of the ODIHR, Russia stands for the coordination in the OSCE of uniform monitoring standards that would apply equally to all Member States of the Organization without exception.

With regard to the OSCE field presences, it is planned to discuss the possibilities of optimizing the programs and projects implemented by them in accordance with the needs of the host States.

The Russian side will raise the question of the need to increase our personnel representation in the OSCE structures.

Russian-Polish relations are in an unsatisfactory state. At the initiative of Warsaw, the political dialogue has been frozen since 2014, and the work of the main mechanisms of bilateral cooperation has been curtailed. The last full-scale meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries took place in 2013. After that, there were only brief contacts “on the sidelines” of major international events.

Artificially inflated in Poland, including by the efforts of the official authorities and the media, the atmosphere of hostility to Russia, constant arguments about the “Russian threat”, the buildup of our own and NATO military capabilities on our borders is not the atmosphere in which it is possible to build constructive relationships.

This situation does not meet the interests of both countries. We are open to dialogue on the basis of mutual consideration of interests, however, since it was Warsaw that initiated the freezing of Russian-Polish contacts, the initiative to resume them remains with it.

Warsaw is pursuing a policy of rewriting history, especially the period of the Second World War. The main postulates of Polish historical policy are the equalization of the USSR and Hitlerite Germany, the thesis of the “two occupations” of Poland (Nazi and Soviet).

In violation of the Russian-Polish intergovernmental agreement on burials and places of remembrance of victims of wars and repressions of February 22, 1994 and the norms of morality in Poland, the destruction of monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators, unrelated to burials, continues. Of the 561 such objects available as of 1997, only about a hundred remained. Acts of vandalism against Soviet memorials are regularly recorded – in 2021, seven such cases became known. As a rule, the Polish authorities do not find the perpetrators.

The bilateral trade turnover with Poland for 11 months of 2021 increased by 53.4 percent compared to the same period last year and amounted to 19.9 billion US dollars. Russian exports to Poland increased by 69.4 percent (to 14.6 billion US dollars), and imports – by 21.7 percent (to 5.3 billion US dollars). Poland’s share in Russia’s foreign trade turnover was 2.8 percent (11th place).

At the end of December 2022, the so-called Yamal contract for the supply of Russian gas to Poland expires. According to it, the Polish oil and gas company “PGNiG” acquires at least 8.7 billion m3 of gas annually on a “take or pay” basis. In November 2019, PGNiG informed Gazprom and its subsidiary Gazprom Export of its unwillingness to extend the current contract. From 2023 The Polish authorities intend to replace Russian gas with supplies via Denmark from the Norwegian shelf via the Baltic Pipeline under construction and an increase in the volume of imported LNG from the United States and Qatar.

Poland does not stop trying to torpedo the launch of the Nord Stream-2 project and undermine the reputation of Gazprom PJSC as a reliable supplier of natural gas to Europe. Against the background of the energy crisis developing in the European Union, Warsaw accuses Gazprom of “manipulating” prices on the European gas market and seeks from the European Commission to launch antitrust proceedings against the Russian concern. Polish energy concern “PGNiG”, in September 2021 admitted to participate in the SP-2 certification procedure, seeks to prevent the issuance by the German regulator of permits necessary for the commissioning of the gas pipeline.



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