“It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE region is now greater than at any time in the last 30 years,” Rau said at the start of the organization’s Permanent Council.
“Currently, member states face various challenges to peace and security.
“Prolonged conflicts, military confrontation, radicalization, terrorism combined with weaker arms control, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms add to the uncertainty, unpredictability and fear in our societies,” he said.
According to Rau, the OSCE, for its part, needs to focus on resolving security issues in Eastern Europe, including a peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
“We will be open to dialogue, ready to take initiatives to build mutual understanding and reduce tensions in the OSCE region … We want to pay special attention to improving the security situation, helping to find a peaceful solution to regional conflicts,” he said.
“We need to focus on a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine in accordance with the Minsk agreements, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity,” Rau said.
“We have been facing the possibility of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe for several weeks. “Security guarantees have recently reached us, an important part of the OSCE’s sphere,” he said. “We are indifferent to the security concerns expressed by member states … I believe the OSCE is the right platform to discuss all … security aspects.”
At the same time, he noted that the possibility of military escalation in the region required “international assessment and an appropriate response”.
Earlier, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, noted that the OSCE, together with the EU and NATO, is a key player in ensuring European security.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov told a news conference after the Russia-US talks that a decision on further contacts with the US on security guarantees would be made after Russia’s consultations with NATO and the OSCE talks.