Russia believes OSCE reform to be organisation's priority

Russia believes the OSCE priority is to complete the reform of the organisation launched in 2001, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov stated at a round table meeting "The OSCE and European Security" held on Friday in Moscow.

According to him, there are two obstacles that have emerged in the OSCE work in the last 10 years, which hinder the reform. The first one is functional and caused by the fact that OSCE functions were not equally divided. The second one is geographical, the Russian diplomat believes.

He recalled that the OSCE had 17 field missions in 16 countries embracing "all Central Asia, Transcaucasia, almost all former Yugoslavia and the European part of the former USSR except for Russia and the Baltic States". According to the Foreign Ministry official, a logical question arises whether or not it is only Eastern Europe that has problems, while in its western part everything is fine and calm.

Meanwhile, Europe faces such important problems as Northern Ireland, Basque Country, "cynicism and xenophobia outburst" and "highly questionable election practice" in a number of countries with "ripe democracy", the high ranking Russian official stated.

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