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15 February 2024, 14:05

Belarus at OSCE: Western states are selective about their arms control commitments

MINSK, 15 February (BelTA) – The Western states - members of the OSCE apply a selective approach to implementing their commitments in arms control and confidence- and security-building measures, Belarus’ delegation said during the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation in Vienna, BelTA learned from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the OSCE. 

"The OSCE was set up as a regional organization to maintain peace and to build sustainable cooperative security architecture from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The OSCE has always relied on equal dialogue, which implies the involvement of all members of the organization having equal status and making decisions by consensus. No one has canceled these principles," the Belarusian delegation stressed. "Today we see the OSCE, including the Forum for Security Co-operation moving away from inclusiveness and this trend is gathering pace."

Belarus’ delegation emphasized that the deliberate exclusion of individual participating states from dialogue and contacts on arms control and confidence- and security-building measures can seriously aggravate the situation in the field of regional security.

“Another example of such a selective approach had to do with the inaugural conference of verification agencies held by Canada in late January - early February 2024. On the one hand, such an event was badly needed, since annual meetings of heads of verification centers had not been held for the last two years due to the lack of consensus. However, the decision not to invite Belarus and Russia is bewildering. It suggests that Western countries are not ready and not willing to resume interaction even on technical aspects of the agreed confidence-building measures within the framework of the Vienna Document 2011. This is another step aimed at destroying arms control mechanisms and confidence- and security-building measures in the European region and at further devaluing the OSCE as a dialogue platform,” the Belarusian diplomats said.

“It is difficult to call that event unofficial. The OSCE Communications Network, the official channel for transmitting information, was used to organize it. The host party used this network on 28 November 2023 and 9 January 2024 to send F41 format notifications about the conference and invitations to take part in it to the Vienna Document participating states,” Belarus’ delegation said. “This format of notification implies a possibility of a selective approach to the addressees, which Canada, in our opinion, decided to resort to. We also question the legality of the use of the official OSCE Communications Network in organizing and holding unofficial events of the participating states.”

Belarus’ delegation called on all OSCE participating states to refrain from a discriminatory approach and to return to a professional, mutually respectful and depoliticized dialogue aimed at restoring confidence and strengthening security in the region.
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