Russia will attend the OSCE conference in North Macedonia if Bulgaria allows the Russian delegation to fly over its territory. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this on Monday, according to the TASS agency. North Macedonia already promised last week to temporarily suspend the ban on flights from Russia so that Lavrov could attend the conference from November 29 to December 1. Most European countries closed their airspace to Russian flights after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
“Macedonia has basically invited us to the council of ministers of foreign affairs of the OSCE countries. Bulgaria basically promised Macedonia that it would open its airspace. If it works out, we will appear there,” Lavrov said on Monday. According to Reuters, he added that several Western officials had already expressed interest in meeting during the conference.
With the exception of Belarus, Lavrov has not visited any European country since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the AP agency recalled earlier. But the head of Russian diplomacy traveled to Turkey, which did not ban Russian flights, even though it is a member of NATO. Lavrov also attended the United Nations General Assembly in the United States.
The OSCE was established in 1975 at the height of the Cold War to promote dialogue between the West and the East. It currently has 57 member states, including Russia. The goal of the organization is to strengthen European security, strengthen human rights, democracy and the principles of the rule of law. The rotating presidency is now headed by North Macedonia.