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OSCE chairman-in-office: Discussions on Russia's exclusion exhausted for now

Friday, 1 December 2023, 20:44
OSCE chairman-in-office: Discussions on Russia's exclusion exhausted for now
Bujar Osmani and Sergey Lavrov. Stock photo: Getty Images

Bujar Osmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia, which took over the OSCE presidency in 2023, considers discussions about the possible suspension of Russia's membership due to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine to be exhausted for now.

Source: Osmani in an interview with EFE, as reported by European Pravda.

Osmani said that discussions on excluding Russia from the OSCE "have been exhausted, at least for now".


He noted that there are two obstacles to Russia’s exclusion: a legal one, since the consent of 56 of the 57 OSCE members is required with respect to one of the members, and a political one, since some members consider the organisation to be a forum for dialogue between countries with differing views.

Although the OSCE makes decisions by consensus, there is a so-called "consensus minus one" formula that is used in the event of serious violations of OSCE principles. In practice, it has been applied only once – regarding Yugoslavia in 1991.

"But we believe that this principle will not work now, as there are differences of opinion in the OSCE," Osmani said.

He noted that some OSCE members see it as a "platform for dialogue between like-minded countries" to ensure stability in Europe through joint activities.


  • Ukraine has repeatedly emphasised the need to exclude Russia from the OSCE, calling the Russian Federation the main threat to Europe. Nevertheless, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took part in the organisation’s last ministerial meeting, having received permission to visit North Macedonia.
  • Lavrov, in his typical manner, was rude to journalists in Skopje and declared that the Russian Federation could block personnel decisions on which the further functioning of the OSCE depends.

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