Right of Reply to Russia following Report of OSCE Mission to Moldova

OSCE Mission to Moldova

Right of Reply to the Russian Federation on the Report by the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova

As delivered by Ambassador James S. Gilmore III
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 30, 2020

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

I have been listening closely to my colleague from the Russian Federation – there are several things he said that I wish to address:

Number one: Our statement regarding the World Health Organization and the contributions it might make in Moldova stands as delivered. Do not be concerned because our Administration wishes to do a review of broader WHO activities – I think that would certainly be our right and obligation, as a matter of fact.

With respect to a personal meeting, actually I think that is a very good idea, although I certainly would not care to meet with my Russian colleague on the basis that he is going to educate or instruct me. That, of course, is an inappropriate foundation on which to set down a meeting. Although I think some direct communication is a good idea, and I grasp that idea.

And finally, I would just simply ask a question: does the reply that the Russian Federation gave indicate they no longer believe that the Istanbul Summit and its agreements are operative? That would seem to be the conclusion that is being offered here. To all my colleagues across the board here, the other 56 Ambassadors, is it also your position that the previous agreements of Istanbul are no longer operative? That would be the inquiry that I would like to make. The U.S. believes that they are operative. And that means that the obligations and mandate of the OSCE cannot be unilaterally changed by any country, not the Russian Federation nor any other country. We have an obligation to ourselves to make sure that the work of the OSCE can make a contribution to peace and dignity in Moldova.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.