From: Bledar Qalliu
OSCE Chairman Rama Visits Russia to Discuss Ukrainian Crisis

Prime Minister Edi Rama has arrived in Moscow, Russia today in his capacity as OSCE Chairman in Office for 2020.

Rama will meet with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow to discuss the situation on the Russia-Ukraine border.

This is his third visit as OSCE Chairman, following that in Ukraine and USA during the last two months.

Speaking from Ukraine, Rama said the Albanian Chairmanship will fully support the efforts of the tripartite group (Ukraine, Russia and OSCE) to find a solution to the war in the region.

“In my view this remains the most pressing challenge to security and stability in Europe today.

We will do our utmost to ensure that the OSCE is respected and adhered to, and we will encourage the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by supporting the efforts of the tripartite group.

What remains essential is people’s lives and the difficulties they all face in conflict-affected areas. We will work hard to ensure that the shooting stops and a ceasefire is reached for the lives of the people there.”

In a meeting of leaders on Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference earlier this month, Rama argued that the situation in Ukraine and other countries bordering Russia will not improve as long as the latter perceives itself threatened by NATO and EU.

Russia and Ukraine have been involved in an armed conflict since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and Russia-backed armed separatists declared independence of two republics in the eastern part of the country.

Albania took over the OSCE Chairmanship for 2020 in January this year. Rama presented to the OSCE Permanent Council the organization’s priorities for the year ahead:

– ‘Making a difference on the ground’, conflict resolution, promoting the role of women in peace and security;

– ‘Leveraging our acquis’, enhancing security against contemporary threats and challenges such as small arms and light weapons, organized crime, human trafficking, violent extremism, cybersecurity, and on promoting the freedom of expression and of the media, and combating violence against women;

– ‘Dialogue’, promoting tolerance and non-discrimination.