Russia fumes after Poland seeks to bar it from OSCE meet

A new diplomatic battle appeared on the horizon on Sunday (November 19) as Poland said it wants to bar Russian delegation from Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meet due next month. The OSCE is the world’s largest security grouping. Poland currently has the rotating chairmanship oif the 57-member bloc. Poland’s assertion has angered Russia which has said that this move was “unprecedented and provocative”.

On Sunday, Polish foreign ministry spokesperson Lukasz Jasina replied in the affirmative when asked by AFP whether Moscow was being refused access to the December meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), of which Russia is a member.

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Asked earlier whether Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was expected to attend, Jasina said: “We are not expecting a visit by Minister Lavrov to Lodz”.

In a statement, the Polish OSCE Chairmanship said “delegations should be adjusted to the current EU regulations and not include persons that are sanctioned by the European Union.

“Following Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine on February 24th a number of Russian nationals were added to the list of sanctioned individuals, including Minister Lavrov.”

Russian foreign ministry has reacted sharply.

“The decision from Poland, which is the acting chairman of the OSCE, to refuse the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov in the OSCE’s ministerial meeting in Lodz on December 1-2 is unprecedented and provocative,” the foreign ministry said

(With inputs from agencies)

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