The head of the Estonian delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mati Raidma as well as members Heljo Pikhof and Marko Šorin are remotely attending the OSCE PA Winter Meeting, which is taking place in the hybrid format in Vienna, Austria, today and tomorrow. The key issues are the crisis in Ukraine and the indivisibility of European security.
The head of the delegation Mati Raidma said that while we are celebrating the 104th anniversary of our independent country, it is extremely concerning to realise that a war has broken out in Europe. “Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people, and our hearts go out to those who have already lost their loved ones in this war,” Raidma declared.
“Our freedom did not come easy, and it should never be taken for granted. Estonia’s independence is protected now because we have friends and allies in NATO and the European Union. We must do everything in our power today to stand with Ukraine as their allies,” he stressed.
Raidma warned that the geopolitical catastrophe that the world is currently facing would directly impact our security. He emphasised that any threat to Ukraine is as threat to the security of the whole Europe. Raidma pointed out that the actions of the Russian Federation against Ukraine today constitute a violation of international law, the Minsk agreements, and the Helsinki Final Act.
“We must ask ourselves what we can do as parliamentarians, and what OSCE can do to stop the situation from escalating. If Russia decides to continue its aggression, it must be prepared to face serious consequences,” Raidma stated. “We must demonstrate our full support to Ukraine every day, every minute. We must support Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity, right to self-defence, and the sovereignty to choose their own path,” Raidma stressed.
The opening debate of the plenary session focuses on the role of the OSCE in European security guarantees and indivisibility of security. The crisis in Ukraine is discussed at the 21st Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly by parliamentarians from North America, Europe, and Central Asia.
The discussion in the OSCE PA Political Affairs and Security Committee will focus on the rising tensions in the OSCE region and the need for a dialogue among parliaments.
The aim of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is to involve its participating states in resolving European political and security issues in order to enhance civilian control over military affairs and to strengthen the responsibility and influence of members of parliament.