Russia proposes OSCE reform

RIA Novosti, Russia
Aug 25 2004


MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) — Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
informed President Vladimir Putin of an address to the OSCE being
drafted by concerned countries.

According to Lavrov, this action is to bring about “constructive
changes,” aimed at making the organization more effective. He said
the issue of OSCE reform would be on the agenda of a summit meeting
between Russia, France and Germany at the end of August in Vladimir
Putin’s residence in Sochi.

Vremya Novostei reported that the concerned countries that the
foreign minister spoke on behalf of, were 9 out of the 11 CIS
countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). Georgia, Azerbaijan and
Moldova did not join the statement adopted on August 3 during an
informal CIS summit in Moscow, in which unexpectedly tough criticism
was directed at the OSCE for having “failed to adapt itself to the
demands of the changing world and ensure effective settlement of
security and cooperation issues in the Euro-Atlantic area.”

According to Vremya Novostei, even if Jacques Chirac and Gerhard
Schroeder agree in Sochi with the arguments Putin advanced in favor
of reforming the OSCE, the process will be draw out, as the bulky
55-member country organization, in which decisions are made by
consensus, is incapable of rapidly changing.