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Monday, March 27, 2023

Emotionally heated OSCE debate in the Hofburg

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Margareta Cederfelt (President OSCE)
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A black flag was hoisted in place of the OSCE flag in front of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna on Friday to commemorate the anniversary of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The second day of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) took place in the Hofburg – with emotional speeches in front of around 200 delegates.

“Our energies must be directed towards supporting Ukraine,” said the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Margareta Cederfelt. Britain’s Mark Pritchard declared: “If we want peace, peace, peace, then Ukraine needs guns, guns, guns.” In a statement, the leading members of the Parliamentary Assembly spoke of “war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Ukrainian people”. Those responsible should be held accountable in international courts.

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After denouncing Russia’s crimes, the representative of Canada called on the assembly to stand up in a show of solidarity with Ukraine.

While most delegates complied with this request, the video transmission showed that the Russian delegation leader, Pyotr Tolstoy, demonstratively left the room at this point. Slovak Peter Osusky went on to call Tolstoy “leader of a gang of criminals and executioners” following a “21st century Hitler”.

A representative of Belarus and two representatives of Russia subsequently contradicted the statements made by the overwhelming majority of the delegates. Russian MP Leonid Slutsky said: “We are not fighting with Ukraine, but for strategic stability in the future.” Numerous delegates left the hall during these Belarusian and Russian speeches. Delegates from Ukraine and Lithuania stayed away from the conference because of Russian participation.

Source: Nachrichten

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