OSCE ministerial meeting kicks off in Milan with focus on Ukraine, security, fighting terrorism

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-07 00:12:34|Editor: yan
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ROME, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Foreign ministers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) gathered for their 25th yearly meeting which kicked off in Milan on Thursday.

The Ukraine crisis, the security of the Mediterranean region, and combating terrorism were in the spotlight of the two-day meeting.

It opened with remarks by Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, who is this year's OSCE chairperson. Milanesi called for "courage and capacity" in solving current security issues in the OSCE area.

"We have a crisis in Ukraine," Moavero told the assembly, "Fulfillment of the agreements that all parties stipulated in Minsk (in 2015) is extremely important with respect to finding a solution".

"I call on the willingness of us all to solve the most current elements of conflict," the Italian foreign minister continued.

"I refer to the well-known crisis" in the Sea of Azov, he added, saying "We must find a way to contribute to helping to solve these situations."

Relations between Kiev and Moscow, which have been deteriorating since early 2014 over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, escalated last month.

On Nov. 25, three Ukrainian ships attempting to sail through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov were seized by Russian forces for allegedly violating the Russian border.

The Ukrainian Navy said that it had informed Russia in advance of the passage, while Russia said it had received no such report and the ships ignored multiple warnings by the Russian border guards.

In the wake of the tension, Ukraine imposed martial law in 10 regions mainly bordering Russia for 30 days starting from Nov. 26.

Delegations from many countries then took the floor, many of which echoed Milanesi's concern over the Ukraine situation.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian delegation focused on what it said are "illegal immigration flows" by migrants and asylum seekers across its borders.

"Many migrants have disrespected our culture, our way of life and our rules," said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, calling for a concerted OSCE policy to prevent further waves of migration and to "push back extremist ideologies, which are the cradles of terrorism".

The OSCE meeting ends on December 7.