Russia is interested in reforming the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and is ready to work towards this direction, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.
"In 2015, the process of the Helsinki Final Act will mark 40 years and OSCE participating states are facing a choice. Move forward and transfer it into a real pan-European organisation. Otherwise, OSCE will remain on the margins of international processes in Europe," he told journalists in Moscow on Friday.
"As for Russia, we are interested in updating the organisation and willing to work in all directions," Meshkov added.
He pointed out that Russia regularly pays fees to OSCE. "Currently the fee reaches just over $5 million, while we contribute $27 million towards the Council of Europe. However the main issue is the question of the OSCE budget allocation. For instance the budget for this year was recently laid out and adopted. In particular, because we insisted on the allocation of funds for needs that are really required for the organisation's member states, "Meshkov said.
Moscow has repeatedly criticised OSCE for the amorphous nature of the organisation. Several years ago, the Russian side submitted its proposals to reform it, but the package of proposals was ignored by Vienna.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that OSCE should become a fully-fledged international organisation with a legally binding charter, provide security (through the observance of the indivisibility of security principle by all member states) and promote cooperation "by avoiding the limitations and barriers." At present Russia has high hopes for the Irish initiative to launch the 'Helsinki Plus 40'process envisaging renewing the organisation by the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act in 2015.