3 November 201711:20

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, Moscow, November 3, 2017

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Mr Secretary General,

Colleagues,

We are glad to welcome you to Moscow. I have met with Mr Thomas Greminger in New York, but this is the first time that you have come to Russia in your capacity as the OSCE Secretary General.

We have heard about your plans in your new capacity, and we wholeheartedly support them, especially your position on developing an open and equal dialogue on all issues without any preconditions. This dialogue will set free the huge OSCE potential for taking collective decisions on the settlement of common problems. The OSCE potential must also be used in the settlement of conflicts, primarily in Ukraine and also in Transnistria. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are working to promote a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We highly appreciate the OSCE’s co-chairmanship at the Geneva Consultations on the South Caucasus. We also believe that the OSCE must not slacken any of its attention in the direction of the Balkans.

Overall, your balanced approach is much needed now that changes are pending at the OSCE’s three dimensions (baskets) in terms of geography and themes. We will do our best to promote these changes. We hope that our talks on the OSCE’s practical goals together with Russia’s possible assistance to achieving them will proceed in this context.

Once again, welcome to Moscow.

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