Statement by Mr. Andreas Michaelis, State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office, at the high-level inauguration meeting on “Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue”, 8 February 2022

08.02.2022 - Speech

Mr. Chairman, Minister Rau,

I would like to thank you for launching the Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue today. Thank you for this timely initiative.

Let me say that Germany fully associates itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union.

In our national capacity I would like to add:

The rules-based security architecture in Europe, which has been built over decades, is under serious strain today. Growing tensions in the OSCE area, and above all the ongoing Russian military build-up around Ukraine, have brought us to a turning point.

Russia now faces a choice. It can pursue the path of diplomacy on the basis of the offers of dialogue put on the table by the US at bilateral level, by NATO, and the OSCE with today’s initiative.

Or it can choose renewed aggression against Ukraine. With all the consequences this would entail politically, economically and strategically.

We very much hope for the former. And I am strongly convinced that as part of this diplomatic effort, the OSCE with its inclusive membership of 57 states is the appropriate forum to address the security concerns of all interested parties.

We need to honestly discuss how to strengthen the existing security architecture in order to address current and future security challenges. Let me highlight several elements which we believe are fundamental in this regard:

  1. a) It is important that we reinvigorate and implement our existing commitments on European security, enacted in various key OSCE documents.

    b) Mr. Chairman, Minister Rau, thank you very much for your important remarks about the status and the interplay of the various principles which constitute the OSCE aquis.
    c) These principles are equally valid for all participating States. No State can have an absolute droit de regard. In addition, we also need to make good use of the confidence and security-building measures in the OSCE Toolbox.

  2. We are convinced that we need to renew our efforts in the area of conventional arms control. The long-overdue modernisation of the Vienna Document is a necessary first step towards that goal. It will also be important to address new technologies and the development of military doctrines.
  3. The comprehensive concept of security is one of our organisation’s major assets. Real security for the people on our continent can only be provided if all three OSCE security dimensions are addressed in their entirety.

Let us seize this opportunity provided by the Renewed OSCE European Security Dialogue to find diplomatic solutions, to restore mutual trust and to improve security on our continent!

Thank you very much.

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