Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov accuses the OSCE of taking an active part in the war in Ukraine. Evidence was allegedly found that the organization in eastern Ukraine abandoned its impartial observer role and sided with the Ukrainian army.
Russia has criticized the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and in particular its observers in eastern Ukraine for being partisan. "The spirit and letter of the OSCE Charter have been destroyed," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a televised press conference.
According to Lavrov, the OSCE observers stationed in the Donetsk region had ignored the increasing attacks by the Ukrainian army on the Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine before the war broke out, and in some cases even helped them. "Facts have been discovered that the OSCE took part in directing the fire on Donetsk and Luhansk," he claimed. After the expulsion of the observers, corresponding documents were found.
Since 2014, the OSCE has attempted to separate the parties to the conflict in Donbass and to monitor the ceasefire. At the end of February, after the start of the Russian invasion, she had to end her mission and withdraw observers from the war zone.
Lavrov's criticism went even further. The Russian chief diplomat complained that the OSCE was being dominated by the West and had thus lost its own importance as a mediator. Poland "has been digging a grave" for the organization all year, he said.
Warsaw refused Lavrov, who had been banned from entering the EU because of Russia's war of aggression, with a visa to attend an OSCE foreign ministers' meeting in Lodz, Poland.