Calls in Europe to Revive the OSCE

The leader of the German Social Democrats in the Bundestag Rolf Mützenich has called for “a European peace order including Russia, even if this seems illusory at the moment.” He said he hoped for a “pan-European peace order that, as a ‘pluralistic security community,’ excludes war between its members and ultimately overcomes the military alliances.” Mützenich is a close ally of Chancellor Scholz, who has made Russia policy an executive matter.

A similar proposal came from the chairman of the Organization of Security and Cooperation for Europe (OSCE), Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, who called for launching a revitalized European security dialogue within that institution. In mid-February, Rau will visit Moscow. A small but potentially important step came also from Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who led the U.S. delegation in the strategic talks with Russia; she consulted the Organization’s Secretary General Helga Schmid about using the OSCE as a platform to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine.

Russia has also sought to have the OSCE — comprised of all European countries, including the Central Asian and the Caucasian nations that were former Soviet republics – act as an appropriate forum for discussion of Russian security concerns. Furthermore, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has gone a step further and called for a summit of all the heads of government and state to be held in 2025, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Accords, as part effort to revitalize the organization as a means of reducing tension, building trust, and enhancing the security of all of Europe (cf. SAS 51-52/21).

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