Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue UK statement

Thank you Minister Rau, and thank you for launching the Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue. The UK fully supports this important Polish initiative and we remain committed to the security of all OSCE participating States, and to constructive dialogue.

The OSCE is an ideal venue to discuss the challenges to European security because it remains an inclusive and equal forum. It brings together 57 participating States from Europe, North America, and Central Asia. We take part on the basis of equality, with no hierarchies and with no countries excluded from discussions that affect them and the security of their citizens.

Over almost 50 years, the OSCE has established principles and commitments to which we have all freely signed up. These include the non-use of force, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. These long-standing principles and commitments have become the bedrock of our security. We stand by them, unreservedly.

However Mr Chair, today these long-standing principles are being challenged. And as participating States we must come together to ensure they are respected.

We should strive to improve our security, not by revisiting the principles that bind us, but by upholding them. And seeking new ways to implement and develop the transparency, risk reduction and arms control mechanisms that we have developed to support them.

That is why the United Kingdom wishes to see this Dialogue succeed.

For that to happen, all participating States must show good faith.

Our Dialogue should build on the commitments that all of us, including Russia, signed up to freely, and on the principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Russia’s military build-up in and around Ukraine is deeply concerning and needs to be reversed.

Our OSCE principles and commitments provide a clear path out. A path toward greater security for all, and a means to avoid conflict.

Russia must refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and stand down its troops.

In line with our commitment to uphold the OSCE acquis, the UK remains determined to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognised borders.

Beyond Ukraine, we must continue to support the important work of the OSCE in other conflict-affected regions, including in Georgia, Moldova and Nagorno-Karabakh.

As set out by the Chair, the UK supports a three pronged Dialogue focused on strengthening confidence and security building measures, including on military transparency, risk reduction and conflict prevention, management and resolution. As well as on non-military aspects of security.

The OSCE has served well as a forum for discussing these issues in the past, even when the conversation has been difficult and uncomfortable.

Your Excellency – to conclude. The path out of the current situation is through dialogue and diplomacy. Please be assured of the UK’s full support for your efforts as OSCE Chair, as we enter into these discussions in good faith. It is deeply disappointing to hear our Russian colleague express the view today that Russia does not at this stage support the initiative or the process. We urge them to reconsider.

  1. Thank you.

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