Interpretative Statement on the Extension of the OSCE Mission to Moldova
As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Courtney Austrian
to the Special Permanent Council, Vienna
December 22, 2022
In connection with the adoption of the Decision for the Extension 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 expresses deep disappointment with this Council’s inability to come to consensus on extending the one-year mandate of the OSCE’s Mission to Moldova. The United States recalls MC Decision 18/06 on “Further Strengthening the Effectiveness of OSCE Executive Structures” and reminds the Russian Federation 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.” The Russian delegation’s refusal to provide consensus on the Mission’s standard one-year mandate, despite its commitment to do so in MC Decision 18/06, is contrary to Russia’s commitments to the participating States of this Organization and yet one more example of Russia holding this entire organization hostage.
Russia’s unconvincing justification for this obstruction is seemingly manufactured only to inflict pain on the OSCE and 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 and we have the full expectation this will be a one-time adjustment.
Unfortunately, this latest choice by Russia is only the most recent in a growing list of transgressions. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Georgia and its blatant disregard for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova directly contravene the Helsinki Final Act and international law, including the United Nations Charter.
The United States continues to value the critical work of the OSCE Mission to Moldova to facilitate a lasting and comprehensive settlement process and in all three dimensions of security. Thanks to Russia’s irresponsible decision, we will now add another burden onto Mission staff who are already trying to execute programs amidst frequent electricity and energy shortages which exacerbate escalating inflation. The United States also supports Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and a comprehensive settlement of the Transnistria conflict with a special status for Transnistria within Moldova’s internationally recognized borders. 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.