Interpretative statement on the Extension of the Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova

OSCE Mission to Moldova

Interpretative statement on the Extension of the Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova

As delivered by Ambassador Michael R. Carpenter
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
December 14, 2023 

In connection with the Permanent Council decision just adopted on the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, the United States would like to make the following interpretative statement under Paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure.

The United States once again expresses deep disappointment at the Russian Federation’s unwillingness to join consensus on extending the mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova for a full year.  The United States recalls Ministerial Council Decision No. 18/06 on further strengthening the effectiveness of OSCE executive structures and reminds Russia of its commitment to that decision and to the principle that “when the participating State hosting a field operation concurs, the mandate for field operations should be of a one year duration.”  Russia’s refusal to respect that commitment is yet another example of its attempting to undermine the critical work of this Organization and its field missions.

The real victims of Russia’s failure to agree to a full year mandate extension are the people of Moldova and, most regrettably, the Moldovan Mission’s staff, who are doing their very best under incredibly difficult circumstances.  Let me be clear: the United States rejects any notion this six-month extension will set a precedent for future mandate negotiations.  In accordance with Ministerial Council Decision No. 18/06, the Mission’s mandate is to be brought in line with the yearly OSCE cycle.

Russia’s blockage of the one-year extension is only the most recent example among a litany of actions showing the Kremlin’s contempt for its own OSCE commitments.  Russia’s blatant unlawful use of force against and violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia directly contravene the Helsinki Final Act and violate international law, including the United Nations Charter.  Russia’s continuing to station forces in Moldova without Moldova’s consent is a further contravention of its commitments.

The United States continues to value the critical work of the OSCE Mission to Moldova to facilitate a lasting and comprehensive settlement process.  We support Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and a comprehensive settlement of the Transnistria conflict with a special status for Transnistria.  The United States will continue to assist Moldova on its chosen path towards democratic reform and further European integration.

Mr. Chair, I request that this interpretative statement be attached to the decision and to the journal of the day.