The disturbing words of the head of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna. – It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than at any time in the last 30 years – said Zbigniew Rau.
Rau announced the involvement of the Polish OSCE presidency in solving security challenges in Eastern Europe, as well as openness to dialogue and readiness to present initiatives for this purpose. He emphasized that for several weeks we have been dealing with the possibility of a serious military escalation in the region of Eastern Europe.
At the session of the Permanent Council of the OSCE, Rau presented the priorities of the Polish presidency of this organization. He referred to the history of Poland and its experience of resistance to the imperial aspirations of its neighbors and submission to a foreign power. The breaking of the Iron Curtain 30 years ago was a moment of regaining sovereignty and statehood for my nation and the whole of Central Europe – he stressed.
This was the moment when very tragic episodes in our history took place, when the communist authorities opened fire on demonstrating workers, representatives of the same nation, in Gdańsk and Gdynia in 1970 and in 1981 at the Wujek mine in Katowice – he said, pointing out that this experience of Poland should be carefully studied by all who may believe that using force against one’s own people is a good option and will bring lasting solutions.
Since we are a nation with a traumatic history, which has benefited greatly from peace in Europe, we know perfectly well which proposals are conducive to peace and which are threatening it. We will share this experience during our OSCE Chairmanship – the head of Polish diplomacy announced.
He emphasized that currently the OSCE states are facing special challenges for peace and security. Prolonged conflicts, military confrontations, radicalization, terrorism, along with the increasing erosion of arms control regimes, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and profound violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals are leading to increasing uncertainty, unpredictability, divisions and fears growing in our societies. It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than at any time in the last 30 years – he said.
He assured that the Polish Presidency would not be indifferent to security concerns raised by any participating state.
Speaking about Ukraine, Rau emphasized that the OSCE was well prepared to help alleviate existing disputes. He declared to focus on the peaceful resolution of the conflict in and around Ukraine, in accordance with the Minsk Agreements and with full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of that country within the limits recognized by the international community.
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed his appreciation for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM). He called for an extension of her mandate beyond March 31. He also mentioned Georgia, Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh as places where efforts to establish lasting peace should be strengthened. As he added, the recent events in Kazakhstan have also raised great concerns.
For several weeks we have been dealing with the possibility of a serious military escalation in Eastern Europe. Military analysts pointed to a large increase in the number of troops in the region. Recently, we have heard the demand for security guarantees related to an important part of the OSCE area and a renewed discourse on spheres of influence Rau said. He stressed that these aspects require serious international assessment and an appropriate response based on the principles of international law. As he pointed out, the problem does not concern one or two countries, but poses a challenge to the stability and security of the European system.
He stated that the OSCE was the appropriate platform to discuss security issues and confidence-building measures.
The Polish presidency, in consultation with the participating states, will ensure that the OSCE will play a role in solving the current security challenges in Eastern Europe. We will be open to dialogue and ready to present initiatives aimed at achieving mutual understanding and easing tensions in the OSCE area Rau declared.