Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Ukraine’s chairmanship of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation: important initiatives

On April 20, 2020, Ukraine took over from Turkey the chairmanship оf OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation. Ukraine will be the first to chair the Forum online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Yehor Bozhok said that Ukraine has planned more than 20 events during its first chairmanship оf OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation. «We have planned more than 20 events during the Ukrainian chairmanship of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, which will last until August. It is quite obvious that one of the central themes will be Russian aggression and hybrid war against Ukraine, Russia's violation of international obligations, and illegal militarization of the Crimean peninsula», Bozhok said. He reminded that Ukraine will chair the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation for the first time in history.[2]

On April 29, 2020, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, during an online session on the occasion of the beginning of Ukraine's chairmanship of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, stated that during Ukraine's chairmanship of OSCE secure cooperation Forum, special attention will be paid to the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, including militarization in the Black Sea and Azov Sea regions. According to him, Ukraine will continue to look for opportunities for a constructive response, considering the OSCE an important platform for dialogue. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stressed that the situation in the OSCE region is characterized by a deliberate and gross violation of general principles and obligations by one participant state (Russiaed.), therefore, it is important to renew the implementation of these commitments and steps to restore confidence and stability in the region. Kuleba stressed that Ukraine appreciates the contribution of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine for the peaceful settlement of the international conflict in the Donbas.

During Ukraine's chairmanship of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, a separate discussion about the difficult security situation in the Black Sea and Azov Sea regions, which is "accompanied by ongoing militarization and obstruction of free international navigation". "The next priority issue is the global coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the armed forces and the role of the latter in helping the government fight this threat. We must consider the possible impact of such steps on the implementation of confidence and security measures," Kuleba said. In addition, Ukraine will closely monitor hybrid threats and their possible connection with modern methods of warfare. Another important issue that the Ukrainian chairmanship of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation is planning to focus on is the activities of private military companies. "The Vienna document remains one of the pillars of the European security architecture. Its modernization is long overdue, given the rapid technological breakthroughs in the military sphere and the lack of an effective relevant mechanism for reducing risks and countering incidents," the Ukrainian Minister said about another priority. Also, during Ukraine's chairmanship of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, much attention will be paid to conducting sudden military exercises near the borders of participating states and a number of other issues within the framework of the Forum's mandate, in particular, light weapons and small arms, implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 1540 (non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction) and 1325 (women's role in peace and security).[3]

Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Hryhoriy Perepelytsya said: «The chairmanship of this Forum gives Ukraine the opportunity to put forward the most pressing issues for its national security, as well as for regional security. In this sense, the main challenges and threats, outlined and presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba are the most relevant. OSCE participants in this region also experience these threats. Therefore, it is very important to raise this issue for discussion among the participants of OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation. Another matter is how effective it will be? Because the very capabilities of OSCE are very limited, since the OSCE from the very beginning represents a certain platform for discussing the most pressing security issues. And these recommendations, which are made within the framework of the OSCE, are of a recommendatory nature. It is the good will of each OSCE participant to join in the implementation of these proposals and measures, or not to join. Since this is a platform for discussing pressing issues of European, regional and sub-regional security, each state has its own interests, and these interests may not coincide with other participants. It also depends on the influence of these participating states, their contribution and the maintenance of OSCE. If we analyze the range of security issues that Mr. Kuleba addressed, they relate primarily to Russia's policy, its aggression against Ukraine, the blockade in the Black Sea, and the destruction of the Black Sea security complex. But, nevertheless, Russia is very influential in the OSCE and blocks the issues that affect its interests. Therefore, the principle of neutrality in the OSCE certainly prevents this organization from being very effective.

Since 2014, we have seen that Russia has significantly increased its influence. And unfortunately, the balance of power in Europe has changed now in favor of Russia. Over the past 6 years, we have seen that the organization has not been able to have any significant influence on Russia's behavior. This shows the OSCE Monitoring Mission in the Donbas, when Russian troops do not allow the OSCE Mission to go to positions where they do not want this Monitoring Mission to be present. Therefore, they do not really care about this organization. Today, there is no organization that can stop these Russian provocations, including the OSCE. Since the OSCE was actually created not to deter aggression, but to maintain a climate of security in Europe, when the main confrontation in the bipolar system was dismantled and the OSCE had to maintain that security in this situation. But Russia has broken it today and the OSCE just like the other organizations is helpless in the face of this Russian threat».[4]

Therefore, despite the fact that the OSCE is not an effective organization, our presence in this organization is important. And during these four months of the chairmanship, Ukraine can contribute not only to the deepening of safe cooperation on the issues raised, but also once again remind the world community of the need to respond robustly the aggressor.


[1]Коментар МЗС щодо початку головування України у Форумі безпекового співробітництва ОБСЄ:

[2]Україна на період головування на безпековому форумі ОБСЄ запланувала понад 20 заходів – МЗС:

[3]Російська агресія буде в центрі головування України у Форумі ОБСЄ – Кулеба:

[4]Крим в ОБСЄ і Нормандському форматі – Кримський вечір: