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2015 OSCE Chair Serbia Hopes To Play Positive Role In Ukraine

  • RFE/RL's Balkan Service

Serbia's foreign minister says the crisis in Ukraine is "proof of how fragile European security is."

Ivica Dacic, whose country will hold the rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2015, made the comments to RFE/RL's Balkan Service on December 31, adding that Serbia has good relations with both Kyiv and Moscow and so should help the OSCE act as "a fair and objective mediator."

"Recently I was in Kyiv and they showed me the maps," Dacic said. "It reminded me of the situation in the former Yugoslavia [in the 1990s]."

The OSCE, together with Ukraine and Russia, are participating in the contact group in talks with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, and the OSCE has a monitoring mission in Ukraine, with the exception of Crimea.

Russia annexed the Ukrainian Black Sea region of Crimea in March.

Dacic also commented on the situation in Azerbaijan, where the government has been putting pressure on independent media outlets and nongovernmental organizations.

"I want Serbia to contribute to the resolution of these problems and to help find solutions within the principles of the OSCE," he said.

Dacic added that there should be "no double standards" in the area of media freedom.

Dacic said in the January 1 statement that Serbia intends to "bring its own experience as a country that has emerged from conflict and that is in transition toward democracy."

Serbia will present the agenda of its chairmanship in Vienna on January 15, according to an Internet statement posted on January 1.

During Serbia's chairmanship, the OSCE will mark the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, which served as the foundation for the creation of the OSCE.