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RFE/RL: West accuses Russia of acting as a saboteur of OSCE

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine on patrol in Donetsk Oblast on 17 March 2016. Photo: Flickr/OSCE, credit: OSCE/Evgeniy Maloletka
RFE/RL: West accuses Russia of acting as a saboteur of OSCE

Western officials and governments have accused Russia of acting as a saboteur of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and abusing the organization’s consensual politics, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The organization, which now includes 57 participating states, works in conflict prevention and resolution to strengthen peace.

While the OSCE has repeatedly condemned the war against Ukraine, Russia may use its influence in the organization to promote the views of its government on international policy across Europe.

Earlier, the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine was suspended due to Russia’s veto on the relevant decision.

The Kremlin has faced deep criticism from the public for placing figures close to Russia’s government within the highest echelons of the OSCE.

For instance, a Kyrgyz-born woman named Saltanat Sakembaeva, who is the wife of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko, served as a senior political and administrative assistant in the OSCE secretary-general’s office. This gave her access to high-level OSCE meetings, events, and information, according to one EU diplomat.

Just two days before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Rudenko addressed the parliament on what would become the Kremlin’s initial steps to annex territory in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

During the speech, he accused Ukraine of “sabotaging” negotiations held by the Trilateral Contact Group consisting of Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE.

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