The two-day session of the OSCE Ministerial Council ended on Friday in Stockholm in a festive atmosphere. The decor of the congress center where the meeting was held, with Christmas trees and candles, reminded us of the approaching end of the year. “Even the winter weather was fine for us,” joked Linde, referring to the snowfall.
The Polish delegation informally took over the chairmanship of the OSCE laboriously, completing preparations for the start of the Polish presidency in this organization in January 2022. In Stockholm, Minister Rau met with the OSCE Secretary General, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and held bilateral talks with politicians from countries affected by the conflicts.
According to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rau met in the capital of Sweden with his counterparts from Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Uzbekistan, as well as with the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Cichanouska. Moreover, he participated in consultations with the vice-presidents of the Minsk Group.
Minister Rau will officially inaugurate the Polish presidency on January 13 at the meeting of the Permanent Council of the OSCE in Vienna, where the organization is based. As part of the presidency, Poland will cooperate with Sweden (the country handing over the leadership), as well as with North Macedonia (it will chair the OSCE in 2023).
The next OSCE Ministerial Council is to take place in December 2022 in Łódź.
Minister Linde considered the OSCE forum “exceptional, because despite many tensions, representatives of 57 countries talk in one place”. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov were present in Stockholm. Both politicians, although they differed in their assessment of the situation in Ukraine, spoke privately in the lobby.