UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday held frank and meaningful negotiations with the current chairman of the OSCE, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.
The parties acknowledge that Russian-Albanian relations are at a very low level, their contacts are completely irregular, and perhaps that is why the conversation, which was initially allocated an hour, eventually took twice as much time.
During a conversation with reporters, the Prime Minister of Albania, who pointed out “the need to be honest,” was not shy about the anti-Russian statements that are characteristic of a NATO member country.
So, Moscow, he said, should do more to resolve conflicts in the OSCE area, and Lavrov personally should be glad that Rama “does not control everything” in the organization.
Choice, Not Commitment
Touching upon the state of bilateral relations, Lavrov noted that there is a potential for the development of material interaction, but he “is restrained by the fact that Albania has joined the EU sanctions policy.”
In this regard, Rama said that the rapprochement of Tirana with the EU and NATO is not due to obligations, but only to the choice of the country. “We are proud that we are members of NATO, allies of the United States and the EU,” the Prime Minister of Albania emphasized, adding that he fully supports “bigger friends” in the issue of anti-Russian sanctions.
About the situation with Sputnik Estonia
In the morning, a picket began in front of the Reception House of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in support of Sputnik Estonia employees, who, as you know, have been pressured by the authorities of the Baltic Republic for a long time.
However, neither the flashy slogans on the posters, nor the detailed description of the events by the editor-in-chief of Sputnik Estonia at the press conference impressed the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.
After all, according to him, he cannot take the situation for personal control, since this is not part of his authority.
Moreover, the prime minister of Albania recalled that Sputnik is acting on the territory of his country and is “engaged in false news.”
“I can assure you that Sputnik is respected in Albania, although you distribute fake, not real news,” Rama added.
Shock and Zelensky’s support
The situation in southeastern Ukraine, as expected, became one of the central topics of the talks between Lavrov and Rama, who arrived in the Russian capital precisely as the current chairman of the OSCE.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Prime Minister of Albania admitted that he was in a deep shock when he visited the conflict zone in southeastern Ukraine in January this year.
According to him, Albania will do everything possible to resolve this conflict. Tirana’s position on the Ukrainian settlement is the lack of new initiatives in the Donbass, the implementation of the Minsk agreements without any “buts” and “ifs” and the support of the actions of the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, all of whose steps are “aimed at the implementation of the agreements”.
In Moscow, Tirana’s focus on facilitating the implementation of the Minsk agreements is highly appreciated.
However, there are disagreements on the Ukrainian issue between the Russian Federation and Albania. For example, Rama welcomed the outcome of the Norman Four summit in Paris, while Moscow believes that due to Zelensky’s decision to replay the draft final document, the meeting failed to achieve maximum results.
During the press conference, the Albanian Foreign Minister several times in a row drew attention to the fact that his country was the only one in the world with whose authorities the Russian side had never conducted telephone conversations.
“Not a single telephone conversation, not to mention meetings and negotiations,” he said.
Lavrov retorted, assuring his colleague that they would definitely conduct telephone conversations this year, moreover, on a regular basis. “And along with the OSCE theme, we can discuss bilateral issues of interest to you and us,” the Russian minister added.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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