Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) chairs have no right to pick and choose which members can and cannot attend the organization’s events, top Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following an OSCE foreign ministers’ meeting.
"When an OSCE foreign ministers’ meeting takes place, there is no need for anyone to send invitations. The country that volunteers to host the event at the end of its yearly chairmanship is obliged to create conditions for the participation of all ministers and those accompanying them, including journalists, which was not the case this time," Lavrov said in response to a TASS question whether his Skopje visit meant that the West was beginning to awaken to the need to engage Moscow in dialogue. "They don’t have the right not to invite anyone," the top Russian diplomat stressed.
He pointed out that the West was slowly "drumming home the message" that OSCE chairs allegedly had the right to decide who of the organization’s members was eligible to participate in its events and who wasn’t. "I found it amusing to read media reports that 'the Poles did not invite Lavrov but the Macedonians did,'" the minister went on to say. "Even the way the issue is presented reflects the twisted nature of the organization's activities," he added. "There is no need for invitations. It works like this: a member state announces that its delegation will arrive on a certain date on a certain flight following a certain route. So be so kind as to perform your duties as host, that’s all," the top Russian diplomat concluded.