The international community, including the OSCE, has offered Russia various options for dialogue, but Russia chose violence and actions contrary to its obligations and norms of international law.
OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid said this in an interview with Ukrinform.
“There were options for continued dialogue – including through the OSCE. Russia chose violence instead. This isn’t a failure of any international organization but a clear choice by one country to act against its commitments and obligations and in violation of international law. As a result, we are facing challenges that were unimaginable just a few months ago. This is a challenge not just for the OSCE but also the wider multilateral system,” Schmid said, commenting on the OSCE’s inability to prevent a large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to her, she was shocked to receive the first reports of Russia’s open military attack against Ukraine:
“Like millions around the world, I was shocked. Russia’s military attack on Ukraine is absolutely appalling. The consequences for the people of Ukraine are severe. And the suffering induced by this unprovoked violence is profound,” Schmid said.
She said that there were efforts led by the U.S., NATO, the EU and the OSCE participating States offered to put aside all differences to offer a comprehensive dialogue. On February 8, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office launched the Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue, which was meant to help build trust, transparency, and co-operation.
“Russia had options. Russia chose force. So today we are living through a war that seemed unthinkable in Europe in the 21st century, with drastic consequences for Ukraine, as well as for the rest of the OSCE region and beyond,” Schmid said.