Ukraine to boycott OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vienna because of Russian participation

Ukraine will boycott the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vienna due to the participation of the Russians
Ukraine will boycott the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vienna due to the participation of the Russians

A member of the Ukrainian delegation, Servant of the People MP Yevheniya Kravchuk, announced the Ukrainian boycott on Ukrainian national television on Feb. 19.

"We will not take part in the official events of the Parliamentary Assembly – in any of them," Kravchuk said.

“But we are going to Vienna to negotiate with our partners on what to do, how to get the OSCE and at least the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly out of this crisis.”

She also noted that there are plans to hold a meeting of the delegations of the anti-Putin coalition at the OSCE PA in Vienna.

Read also: Russia attempting to hold OSCE hostage, chairman says

The Ukrainian lawmaker noted that Austria had issued visas to 61 people from the Russian delegation.

"There are not only parliamentarians who are war criminals," Kravchuk said.

“There are a whole bunch of people there: intelligence services, propagandists who will come to use the PACE session as a mere decoration. Together with our Ukrainian community, we’re working on protests near the Hofburg, where this will take place, so that this does not become the norm.”

In a comment to news agency Interfax-Ukraine, Kravchuk added that Kyiv is coordinating its actions with the delegations of partner countries.

"We’re now planning with our partners the next steps and the actions of the delegations that will be at the session events," the Ukrainian MP said.

“There are different approaches. The Baltic states are considering a boycott. Delegations such as the United States, the United Kingdom and some other countries want to make very strong speeches and are preparing written statements for adoption right on the anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. We will be carrying out coordination.”

On Feb. 23-24, the winter session of the OSCE PA will be held in Vienna, the main topic of which will be the anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Read also: OSCE Ministerial Council to be held without Russia for the first time, says Ukrainian FM

It is expected that the Russian delegation, which includes sanctioned Duma parliamentarians, will also take part in the session. Despite these circumstances, the Austrian Foreign Ministry issued visas to members of the Russian delegation, stating that it had "legal obligations" to do so.

Representatives of more than 20 countries in a joint letter called on the Austrian authorities and the OSCE PA Chairperson to prevent the Russian delegation from participating in the assembly's winter session.

The delegations of Russia and Belarus did not participate in the previous meetings of the OSCE PA in the summer and fall of last year, which took place in the United Kingdom and Poland, because they were not issued visas by the host countries.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine