Poland does not expect Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's presence at a December sitting of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Ministerial Council which will be held in Łódź, central Poland, a government official has said.
“We do not expect Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to attend the OSCE Ministerial Council in early December in Łódź. The Polish Foreign Ministry has notified the Russian side about this in a diplomatic note," said the spokesperson for the ministry, Łukasz Jasina.
Poland will host the meeting as Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s FM, is the current OSCE chair.
According to AFP sources, the decision to bar Lavrov from the sitting is connected with EU sanctions imposed on Russia after its February 24 invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov is among the Russian officials covered by the sanctions. The Polish side reportedly expects that if Russia chooses to send its delegation to Poland, it selects its composition from among diplomats that are not sanctioned by the EU.
The decision to bar Lavrov resulted in the Russian side sending a note of protest to the OSCE Presidency.
Poland has also barred Russian delegates from attending a session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Warsaw on November 24-26.
According to radio RMF, the members of the Russian delegation were reportedly informed that “their coming to Poland would violate the principle of solidarity with Ukraine”.
The OSCE Ministerial Council, a body grouping the foreign ministers of the OSCE member states, will convene in Łódź on December 1 and 2.