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At the Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, nearly 300 representatives from 58 countries will discuss current affairs next to the regular reports and debates. The current topics include political prisoners and arrested journalists in Azerbaijan, human rights situations in Belarus and Turkmenistan, racism, spreading of extremism and xenophobia in the OSCE region and, of course, the strained situation in Ukraine. 

MP Juku-Kalle Raid presented to the Azerbaijani delegation the good will note drafted by Estonia and discussed by the Assembly. The note was also supported by the other Baltic states. The document expressed a hope that the Azerbaijani President Aliyev would grant amnesty to all the political prisoners before the Summer Meeting of the OSCE in Baku.

MP Raid emphasised: “Most of our OSCE PA colleagues agree that the granting of amnesty would increase the chances for a stable and free further development of the region.” The document was signed both by Juku-Kalle Raid and Olga Sõtnik. 

MP Olga Sõtnik took part in the open debate of the Plenary Session with a speech in support of Ukraine. The only way out of the situation is by democratic means. MP Sõtnik stressed: “European leaders and particularly the OSCE PA countries must clearly express their support to the struggling Ukrainian nation who has the right to the freedom of speech, the right to take part in demonstrations and to make decisions on their own future. Chaos should be avoided at any cost, because that would make the lives of people even more complicated.” 

Juku-Kalle Raid also expressed his support to the OSCE nations who are undergoing difficulties; yet he also pointed out that there are innumerable small ethnic groups next to us whose rights are being violated and who also need our support. These include the small Votes and Veps communities whose survival is under direct threat because of the Ust-Luga port construction and the escalating economic activities in the region. The oil terminals and port extensions have adversely affected the human living environment as well as putting the Baltic Sea with its sensitive marine environment in a catastrophic situation. This has created a dangerous situation on the eastern border of the European Union as well as for many of the countries in the region who consider the Baltic Sea as their own. 

The Riigikogu Press Service