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Russia, Belarus veto Estonia’s OSCE chairmanship bid

“Instead of looking for solutions that would please Moscow, we must isolate Russia in every way on the international arena,” Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna said
OSCE
An OSCE flag and a gavel before the start of a meeting at the Hofburg in Vienna. (OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev)
Russia, Belarus veto Estonia’s OSCE chairmanship bid

Estonia’s nomination to serve as chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2024 was vetoed by Russia and Belarus at a meeting of the organization’s Permanent Council in Vienna on 21 November, ERR News reported, citing Estonia’s Foreign Ministry.

“Because of Russia and Belarus, we now find ourselves in a situation where a mere six weeks before the new year, the OSCE does not have a confirmed chairmanship, even though Estonia has been the joint candidate of the European Union since 2020,” Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna said.

A meeting of OSCE foreign ministers scheduled in North Macedonia next week is also expected to revisit the issue. Both Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna and Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson stressed that Russia’s pressure must not be yielded to.

“At this moment, instead of looking for solutions that would please Moscow, we must isolate Russia in every way on the international arena,” Tsahkna said.

Earlier reports indicated Malta received an offer to chair the OSCE in 2024, given Russia’s ongoing blockade of Estonia’s nomination. Estonia initially bid to lead the organization in 2020, facing early Russian resistance that intensified dramatically after the Ukraine invasion.

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