Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde has held talks in Moscow with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. Linde is in Moscow in her capacity as chairperson-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Sweden is trying to use its one year chairmanship of the organisation to bring back focus to the OSCE after a difficult period last year, and a growing sense that the organisation was drifting away from its original mandate on European security.
Russia is central to this process, since it is seen as being at odds with the Helsinki Final Act - the OSCE's milestone document - in both its internal policies, as well as in its relations with its neighbours.
A statement on the website of the Russian foreign ministry ahead of the meeting stated:
During the talks, it is planned to discuss the current tasks of the OSCE in three dimensions - military-political, economic-environmental and humanitarian - and the work plans of the Organization in 2021. In particular, an exchange of views will take place on the state of the European security architecture and the erosion of international legal instruments for building confidence, the interaction of the participating States within the framework of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation, on the "structured dialogue" on security challenges and threats going on since 2017, its contributing to the restoration of confidence and de-escalation of tensions in the Euro-Atlantic area.
In the meantime, Ann Linde has tweeted:
Visiting #Russia in my capacity as @OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. On the agenda: Our common security, based on international law and the joint principles and commitments of the Organization. @mfa_russia #OSCE2021SWE pic.twitter.com/ZN3n7y95A9— Ann Linde (@AnnLinde) February 2, 2021