OSCE PA leaders discuss challenges facing Ukraine and Kazakhstan in online meeting

PR Bureau mtg 240122Guido Almerigogna, Margareta Cederfelt and Gustavo Pallares in Copenhagen, 24 January 2022COPENHAGEN, 24 January 2022 – Chaired by President Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Bureau met today and discussed the crisis in and around Ukraine and recent unrest in Kazakhstan.

Meeting in an online format, the Bureau members heard from OSCE PA Vice-President Askar Shakirov (Kazakhstan) who briefed colleagues on the events that unfolded in his country earlier this month. While a full investigation is still being carried out, Shakirov described what is known now about the situation, which he said started with peaceful protests against high gas prices. Violence began to escalate, he said, with scores of protesters and security forces killed, Almaty airport captured and buildings set on fire.

The violence led Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to declare a state of emergency and appeal for help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which along with Kazakhstan state bodies and civil society, quickly helped stabilize the situation. Shakirov invited OSCE PA members to visit Kazakhstan in person, and proposed that a more comprehensive briefing is held for all members of the OSCE PA when the full picture is clearer.

Ukrainian parliamentarian Artur Gerasymov, who serves as Vice-Chair of the OSCE PA’s economic and environmental committee, spoke to fellow Bureau members about the threat facing his country from tens of thousands of Russian troops amassed near the border. Stressing how serious the situation is, Gerasymov underlined that the future of European security is at stake. He called on all OSCE parliamentarians to stand up for the principles of Helsinki Final Act.

In the discussion, Bureau members urged strength and resolve, stressing that decisive action must be taken to counter threats to security. What happens in the coming days and weeks could have implications for generations to come, it was stressed, and the Parliamentary Assembly has never had a more important role to play than right now. Members said that dialogue is the only way forward but parties must respect Helsinki principles of sovereignty and freedom of all states to pursue their own security arrangements.

On Kazakhstan, it was stressed that OSCE parliamentarians stand ready to assist and would welcome the opportunity to visit. President Cederfelt offered condolences to the people of Kazakhstan and welcomed plans for a transparent international investigation. She also expressed strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Also on the agenda of today’s Bureau meeting was discussion of internal OSCE PA business. The OSCE PA’s Special Representative in Vienna, Amb. Miodrag Pančeski, provided an update on recent developments at OSCE headquarters, Deputy Secretary General Gustavo Pallares described plans for the Winter Meeting, Head of Elections Andreas Baker explained plans for upcoming election observation missions to Hungary and Serbia, and President Cederfelt briefed the Bureau on her presentation at the Permanent Council last week as well as her bilateral meetings with ambassadors and OSCE Institutions in Vienna.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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