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Written by Marsela Shytia 1 Dhjetor 2023
At the annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Skopje, the keynote speech, although against the will of many, was the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov. His arrival caused controversy among members, as some delegations boycotted his speech without thinking twice. Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries canceled their participation, and Bulgaria's move will be talked about for a long time. The European leaders stood up and left the conference room immediately after the OSCE chairman, the host of the summit, the head of Macedonian diplomacy Bujar Osmani, announced Lavrov's speech. However, bilateral talks took place between him and several EU foreign ministers, including Albania and Austria. So the scandal was that one of the politicians who did not abandon him was Albanian minister Igli Hasani. A detail not good for our country, since in a way Albania became a party with Russia against Kosovo. Also, a video made by a Russian diplomat present in the hall has appeared on social networks, where it can be seen that Lavrov did not greet anyone on the way to his seat, nor did any of his colleagues approach him. Lavrov greeted only the Minister of Foreign Affairs of San Marino, Luca Beccari, who, according to protocol, is sitting to the right of the delegation of the Russian Federation. The seat on the left was reserved for the Romanian delegation, which was empty when Lavrov arrived.
"Zig-zag" in the sky
Russia has accused Bulgaria of not allowing the plane on which Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was traveling to fly in its airspace, forcing it to change its route. The plane was forced to take a longer route over Greece to take Lavrov to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) foreign ministers' meeting in Skopje, North Macedonia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Bulgaria's position "absurd", writes Reuters. "The flight path had to be extended due to the refusal of the Bulgarian authorities to allow the flight of the plane with the spokeswoman of the Russian MFA, Marija Zakharova," the article continued. In the note of the Bulgarian MFA, which has been seen by the Russian media, it is said that the permission to participate in the meeting in Skopje was given to Minister Lavrov and his delegation, but that the permission is not valid. Maria Zakharova, who is on the list of persons sanctioned by the EU, commented on Telegram that the decision was "dangerous stupidity of some joker in the government structures in Bulgaria". It claims that for the first time in history, a country banned a plane from flying over a person because a Russian plane was allowed to fly over Bulgarian airspace. Also, Zakharova suggested that Russia could implement similar flight bans on thousands of NATO officials.
Attacks on the OSCE
But it didn't end there. Lavrov's real problems emerged after his speech. The Russian Foreign Minister said that the OSCE is on the verge of collapse and that the West is killing the chances for the revival of this organization. Lavrov added that the prospects of the organization are unclear and recalled that the organization was destroyed in 1999. "It seemed that the end of the bipolar confrontation made the existence of the Atlantic Alliance meaningless. NATO and EU countries destroyed the military-political dimension of the OSCE. In 1999, NATO carried out a brutal and undisguised aggression against Yugoslavia, a member of the OSCE and the UN. And in 2008, in violation of Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council and the principle of the inviolability of borders in Europe from the Final Act of Helsinki, Kosovo was stolen from Serbia without any referendum", Lavrov emphasized. "In this regard, with we regret to say that the OSCE welcomes this anniversary in a painful state and its prospects are unclear. Let's admit that the organization is on the edge of the abyss", said the Russian minister.