Russian officials won’t attend the fall meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Warsaw next week, after Poland rejected their visas, a member of the Russian delegation said on Wednesday.
“We received an outrageous response from the head of the Polish delegation to the OSCE parliamentary assembly,”Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chair of the Russian Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, said in parliament, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
The Polish envoy, Barbara Bartus, “literally said that she does not see any possibility” of allowing Russian or Belarusian delegates to take part in the assembly, as to do so would “violate the principle of solidarity with Ukraine,” Dzhabarov continued, adding that he predicts similar problems when the OSCE meets again in February in Austria, and in July in Canada.
Poland will also deny visas to Russian officials planning on attending a separate OSCE ministerial meeting in Lodz in December, its foreign ministry told Reuters on Friday. “We’re not giving them visas,” spokesman Lukasz Jasina stated. In comments to AFP, Jasina singled out Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, saying Poland was “not expecting” him to attend.
Russia has been a participant in the OSCE since the Soviet Union signed the Helsinki Accords in 1975. The organization’s monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine began in 2014 but was pulled out just prior to the beginning of Russia’s military operation in February. Russia had repeatedly accused the group of ignoring violations by Kiev.
Members of Russia’s delegation to the OSCE were also denied visas to attend the organization’s last meeting in the UK in July.