On 5 December 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, will take part in the 26th Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), organised by the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship in Bratislava.
An exchange of views is expected on the conflict in Ukraine, upholding commitments and the return to a rules-based European security order. Discussions are planned on security, political-military affairs, human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as economic and environmental cooperation issues in the OSCE region.
The conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea remain major stumbling blocks in European security. In ministers’ discussions, Edgars Rinkēvičs will underline the significant role of the OSCE in achieving long-term solutions to the Ukrainian crisis and he will call also for keeping the spotlight on other protracted conflicts in the OSCE space. The Minister will point to the need for observing the OSCE principles and fundamental values and for building mutual trust and reducing risks in the OSCE participating states.
Edgars Rinkēvičs will also have bilateral meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Moldova and North Macedonia.
The OSCE Ministerial Council is the organisation’s central decision-making and governing body. The Ministerial Council meetings, held annually, provide the Foreign Ministers of the 57 OSCE participating States with an opportunity to review and assess the organization’s activities and ascertain national positions on security and cooperation issues.
The previous meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council, chaired by Italy, took place in Milan in 2018. Next year, the OSCE chairmanship will be taken by Albania.