OSCE Assembly: Austria wants to grant entry to sanctioned Russians
The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) puts the Austrian Foreign Ministry in a quandary: Some allied EU partners are said to have demanded behind the scenes that Austria should not issue visas to the Russian delegation, as the hosts Poland and Great Britain had done before, the reported default (Wednesday edition).
Many delegation members from Moscow are therefore on the EU sanctions list. The State Department under Alexander Schallberg (ÖVP), however, sees itself legally unable to do so due to an agreement with the OSCE. February 24 marks the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine’s representative to the OSCE, Yevheniy Tsymbalyuk, told the newspaper that Russia has been ruining the organization “for years”. He fears that the delegation will use the OSCE assembly for a “propaganda show” – above all because on the same day, the anniversary of the Ukraine invasion, the right-wing Akademikerball is taking place in Vienna.
“Oblished by international law” to grant entry
the APA said on Tuesday that the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday that the winter meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly traditionally always takes place in Vienna, and that it was not an Austrian invitation either. Austria has concluded an official seat with the OSCE and is obliged under international law to grant entry to delegates from all OSCE participant agreements. The EU sanctions would provide for an exception to the entry bans for such cases.
Permission to enter the country is for the sole purpose of attending the organization’s meeting. A visit to the ball would “represent a blatant misuse of the visa,” the Foreign Ministry said.