Organization for European Cooperation and isolation: half-dead but useful

Author : Serhiy Sydorenko

Ministerial meeting of the OSCE, which summed up the German presidency, ended in Hamburg on Friday
14:37, 14 December 2016

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Frank-Walter Steinmeier failed to create a miracle. Even influence and authority in Germany did not help to unlock the issue connected with Russian veto.

And despite the fact that the problems of the OSCE were obvious to everyone at the ministerial meeting, the participants insisted: organization still remains necessary.

Related: Lavrov: Possible Ukrainian political prisoners exchange

Ii was said not only by Steinmeier, who needs to prove very his effectiveness is now before the presidential election campaign. Not only Austrians, who, according to diplomats are nervous, knowing that in a year they face the same problem.

Related: Steinmeier: EU might fall

Even Ukraine, which criticized the requisition and the OSCE criticized because of the lack of results and because of strong Russian influence, said that the organization - despite all its problematic - remains necessary.

So what is the meaning of cumbersome and not always capable of that Russia successfully blocked?

Related: Russia blocked declaration on crisis in Ukraine at OSCE Ministerial Council, - MFA

Perhaps the best on this occasion expressed the US representative Daniel Baer. He explained, in fact, that Russian actions in the OSCE show that the organization remains necessary.

"A few days ago the OSCE participating states was the draft declaration on the events in and around Ukraine. So, Russia was the only country that did not agree with him. All the others were ready to support the document. So anyway OSCE remains an important organization because it shows that Russia is isolated," said the ambassador.

Our sources confirm that Russia really remained alone. "Training of key decisions by voting ended, in which one vote against Russia, or Russia with Armenia, Armenia or one that is obviously for anyone acting on behalf of Russia".

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Our sources among diplomats who negotiated the decisions of the OSCE confirm that Russia really remained alone and without mobilizing additional votes it supports only a single satellite, Armenia.

That is, even in an organization that consists of 57 members, from Canada to Mongolia, Russia has no "cheerleader"!

And this is more than a test case that shows the real situation of the country, which declares that a little out of international isolation. And in fact, remains isolated in the future.

And perhaps the best illustration of this was the failure of emotional Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who without any apparent reason yelled at operator of the international agency Reuters, and opened the debate in the German media. Incidentally, after the incident at a press conference in Hamburg, Lavrov said that "the German media beat records of Russophobia." By this "success" is difficult to add something...

Related: Lavrov: Possible Ukrainian political prisoners exchange

And finally, a little more about the results of our Ministerial meeting.

Following the Hamburg meeting of the OSCE decided 10 formal decisions. This is significantly less than in "peacetime" but more than last year - in Belgrade OSCE participating states agreed only six documents.

It gave formal reasons Steinmeier to report on success.

And, unfortunately, the number does not mean quality. "Russia has diluted all documents remaining name without content," commented one of the diplomats involved in the preparation of documents.

The texts, most of which published Monday in the twilight, confirming the words of our interlocutor.

For example, decisions on Transnistria, one and a half pages only in general terms, without plans, expectations or signs. A separate "pain" of Germany is the failure of the idea of beginning negotiations on a new agreement to limit "of conventional arms." Even the most neutral language have been blocked by Russia.

Related: Lavrov: no active hostilities by the Syrian army in Eastern Aleppo

Related: Steinmeier: Prisoners’ exchange in Donbas may take place before Christmas

And part of this ten-making is by definition formal and not substantive - as, for example, the decision on the date of the next meeting or the presidency of Slovakia in 2019. But the most striking illustration of the OSCE stupor was that the final summit declaration distributed not on behalf of the OSCE and on behalf of Steinmeier, the consensus failed.

So, there is nothing to hide. OSCE is in crisis. In deep crisis. And while a part of this organization is Russia, the crisis does not have much chance of being solved. But this does not mean that we should ignore the minimum features that may makes inefficient, but still authoritative organization.

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