Poland has let Russia know that it will uphold European Union sanctions and not allow Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to lead the Russian delegation at a meeting of ministers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) scheduled to take place in December in the city of Łódz.
The Polish Foreign Affairs ministry spokesman, Łukasz Jasina, said that the ministry has issued a diplomatic note to the Russians regarding the upcoming meeting.
“We do not expect Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to attend the OSCE Ministerial Council in early December in Łódź. The Polish Foreign Ministry has notified the Russian side about this in a diplomatic note,” said Jasina. Poland will host the meeting since Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s foreign minister, is the current OSCE chair.
The AFP news agency on Friday reported that Poland has refused to allow Lavrov to enter Poland, as it expected Russia to choose its delegation in line with current restrictions. Since Lavrov is one of the people who has been sanctioned by the EU, Poland has deemed that he may not enter its territory.
Last Wednesday, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Poland refused to issue visas to a Russian delegation for a meeting of OSCE parliamentarians that will take place in Warsaw in late November. Members of the delegation were informed that their visit would violate the principle of solidarity with Ukraine.
The Polish presidency of the OSCE has confirmed that it has received a letter of protest from the Russian delegation. The Russian Foreign Affairs ministry has called Poland’s decision to stop Lavrov attending “unprecedented and provocative,” claiming that it was inconsistent with what should be a facilitating role during its term as the cahir of the OSCE.