Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, has stated that he agrees with North Macedonia's decision to allow the Russian delegation to attend a ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Details: In his opening remarks, Borrell said he understood the "unease of some participating states" with North Macedonia's choice to permit Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to attend the ministerial meeting.
"Yet your decision to allow Lavrov to participate is in line with our common objective to keep multilateralism alive," he added.
Furthermore, the EU’s top diplomat said, the Russian foreign minister "needs to hear, again," from the rest of the participants why Moscow has been isolated since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
"And then he will be able to come back to the Kremlin and report to the Kremlin master that the European Union and the OSCE remain united in deploring Russia’s aggressive and unlawful behaviour. It is going to be at least useful from this point of view," Borrell concluded.
Background: On 28 November, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced that Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba would not be attending the OSCE meeting due to the organisers’ decision to invite Sergei Lavrov. Shortly afterwards, the foreign ministers of the Baltic states and Poland also joined the boycott.
Some states have made a different decision. For example, Bulgaria has permitted Lavrov’s plane to fly through its airspace.