Expert Considers Lithuania to Become a Pragmatic Chairman of the OSCE

By Konstantin Ameliushkin

Declaration of the OSCE Summit, adopted during the 9-hour discussion, is called by some experts as “zero” as well as the results of the Summit. However, Latvian expert, assistant professor of the Latvian University Juris Pajders, is not agree with that. Concerning the Chairmanship of Lithuania in the OSCE, the experts think, that the Presidency of Kazakhstan in a definite sense has eased the Chairmanship of Lithuania at the Organization.

As the expert states, the result of the Summit can’t be called “zero”. During its work, there were fears that the result wouldn’t be even the one, we have today. By the beginning of the second day of the Summit, “a group of states appeared that didn’t want to compromise on the plan of actions”.

”In practice by the end of the day it was clear that the adoption of the actions plan is impossible”, - he stated. - And the remaining time was devoted to the compromise achievement. To my mind, the main thing is that the Organization showed that it can reach compromise, which was demonstrated by the adoption of the Astana Declaration”.

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Pajders underlined that he had no hope that one Summit will solve all the urgent problems, among which he specified three main problems: Transnistria, Nargony Karabakh and Georgia. He’s assured that it’s impossible to solve them fast and easy.

”Most likely, we need time. Not because time treats, but for the generation of Leaders to change, - he supposes. – The generation of Leaders who created this conflict, who made promises, for whom its difficult to acknowledge that they were wrong. It’s not always possible considering domestic policy”.

That is why, he’s sure, some of these conflicts will solve only when Leaders will change. As an example he drew the relations between China and Taiwan 10 years ago, when they could state that the problem of the relations between them could be maintained for years. However time passed and we observe progress within the situation improvement, which was possible, due to that the Parties didn’t accelerate the course of events.

”It’s evident that the result is possible” – he thinks.

In the course of the Summit at the backstage they said that the President Nursultan Nazarbayev used his power to reach a definite consensus on the final declaration adoption. We should remember that Kazakhstan spent huge amounts on the Summit, about which people can only guess.

”Only a Leader with high international weight, which Nazarbayev possesses, can gather so many Leaders of European and Asian states, - underlines j. Pajders. – It’s not easy to arrange the Summit of the kind of level, but Kazakhstan has the kind of potential. And its merit is that Kazakhstan established a platform for official and unofficial communication. Provided there is a desire to adopt definite decisions, than it could be done on this platform. Kazakhstan can gather everybody together, but can’t force them to adopt a decision”.

As for the Chairmanship of Lithuania at the OSCE, the expert thinks that the Presidency of Kazakhstan in a definite sense eased the Chairmanship of Lithuania at the Organization. “At least Lithuania won’t have to arrange the Summit”, - he said.

During the Summit discussions there was an opinion that the Organization should be reformed, the Charter should be developed, etc. “And the OSCE reforms are the matter of the Chairmanship of Lithuania, - he says. Now they have an opportunity to plan the ways of the OSCE reorganization”.

Does Lithuania possess enough resources to cope with such problems as frozen conflicts? On this issue j. Pajders noted that the pragmatic approach of Dalia Grybauskaite allowed many politically loaded issues to start solving in a pragmatic and beneficial for Lithuania way.

”She managed to improve Belarusian-Lithuanian relations to that extent that if earlier the biggest ports for Belarus were Latvian ones, then now Klaipeda has become the one. The issues are solved pragmatically for Lithuania, despite how democracy is perceived in individual states”- he reasoned his comments.

That is why according to the expert, for the OSCE this means that “a pragmatic Leader will chair, and this leader doesn’t strive to impose its view on these or that issues”.

”I think that this Leader will be able to solve the task of adoption of acceptable decision for all states, simultaneously trying to engrain some states the move towards democracy and human rights observance”.

During one of the OSCE events, which was held in Vilnius, a famous American expert noted that the interest of the USA is for the OSCE to become an arena where Russian initiatives would be buried, in particular its strategy of new European security. On this Latvian expert commented as follows.

”During the consideration of the OSCE ways of development we should consider the experience of the EU, - he is assured. -  The EU refused of the right to observe the right of an absolute veto, as the right on such veto can mean the impossibility of any decisions adoption”.

The expert states, that the OSCE should follow this way: the way of simplification of decisions adoption and “gradual refusal of the absolute veto, as now in practice almost any country can block any actions of the Organization”.
Translated by EuroDialogue XXI from