Russian Foreign Minister to attend OSCE foreign ministers' conference

Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti that on Monday the conference would discuss counteraction to new threats and challenges, the struggle against terrorism, slave trade, illegal drug trafficking, and control over small arms export.

The conference participants will also consider collaboration between the organisation's member countries in the economic and environmental sphere, as well as the OSCE reform. Moscow believes that the OSCE activity should be overhauled.

The sides will also discuss regional problems (Southeast Europe, Central Asia, the Southern Caucasus, Moldova, etc.) which are traditionally monitored by the OSCE.

In particular, Yakovenko said, Russia is expected to confirm its policy concerning the situation in Georgia. It believes that the change of power in a democratic state should be conducted in accordance with the constitution exclusively, without any pressure.

As for the prospects for the Transdniestrian problem, Russia believes that the memorandum on the basic principles of the state structure of the united Moldovan state it proposed should represent a unique chance of achieving the final and comprehensive settlement of this conflict in the foreseeable future.

Within the framework of the forthcoming conference, Russia is going to raise the issue of the OSCE double standards. The point at issue is the hampering of the ratification of the adjusted conventional arms treaty.

In addition, Moscow believes it incorrect that the organisation's missions in Latvia and Estonia were closed. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov pointed out that this was a "technical closure". He also added that the OSCE should pay more attention to its activities in the Baltic region. At present, it is insufficient, Moscow says.

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