The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, will attend the OSCE Ministerial Council Forum in Skopje after Bulgaria decided to temporarily lift sanctions against Moscow banning any kind of flights in its airspace.
“Based on the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia in its capacity as Chairperson of the OSCE for 2023 and organizer of the 30th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje from 29 November to 1 December 2023. December 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria granted permission for the flight of delegations to participate in the next OSCE Ministerial Council and granted permission for the conduct of a flight of the special aviation unit “Russia” through the airspace of the Republic of Bulgaria to conduct a flight to transport a delegation to participate in the international forum,” the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The statement said that the diplomatic flight authorization was temporary and valid 3 hours before and 72 hours after the planned date and time of the flight.
“The permission granted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, to attend the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje is included in the exemptions from the application of the EU sanctions regime,” says the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry.
On the other hand, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia James O’Brien confirmed that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will represent the United States at the OSCE meeting in Skopje.
Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani announced last week that Blinken will attend the informal dinner of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje, which will take place on November 29 in a hotel in Skopje. The Foreign Ministry in Skopje announced that there will be no meeting between Blinken and Lavrov, while the entire summit is expected to be characterized by tensions between representatives of the West and Russia.
Due to opposition from Russia and Belarus, several attempts to reach a consensus on Estonia’s candidate for the OSCE Chairmanship in 2024 proved unsuccessful. At the last moment, it was agreed that Malta would take the lead, which was seen as a victory for Russia. The mandate of four of the organization’s leaders expires in December, and one of the main issues to be resolved is the budget, which has not been approved since 2021, as well as more current field operations of the organization”. /The Geopost/