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Cameron condemns Moscow ahead of OSCE summit including Russian counterpart

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron will attend the OSCE gathering in North Macedonia (Dan Kitwood/PA)
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron will attend the OSCE gathering in North Macedonia (Dan Kitwood/PA)

Lord Cameron has labelled Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “indefensible” ahead of a conference in North Macedonia that Moscow’s foreign minister is expected to attend.

The Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK’s support for Kyiv at a meeting of foreign ministers in Skopje on Wednesday, a day before the ministerial council of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) begins.

President Vladimir Putin’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov said he planned to make the trip to the Balkan country, which would be a rare visit to a Nato member state since the Kremlin launched its full-scale assault on Ukraine in February last year.

London Ukraine talks
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said he planned to attend the OSCE meeting (Jonathan Brady/PA)

There are understood to be no plans for Lord Cameron to meet with Mr Lavrov in Skopje.

The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine said they would boycott the conference because of Mr Lavrov’s participation.

Russia is one of the 57 members of the OSCE, an intergovernmental organisation created to calm tensions between East and West during the Cold War.

The UK delegation to the OSCE said in a statement: “The Foreign Secretary said, at a meeting of foreign ministers in Skopje before the OSCE Ministerial Council, that the UK would stand with Ukraine for as long as it took and continue to give moral, diplomatic, economic and military support.

“He added that Russia was responsible for the conflict and their actions were indefensible. They had trampled on all of the 10 principles of the Helsinki Final Act which guided relations between states.

“The Foreign Secretary concluded his remarks by saying that Britain was clear in its support for the OSCE. He called on all those foreign ministers present to support the organisation and secure its future, welcoming Malta’s assumption of Chair in Office for 2024.”

Lord Cameron also used a trip to Brussels to urge his counterparts in Nato not to waver in their support for Ukraine.

There has been less focus on the war in eastern Europe as Western allies address the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.

But with a continuing truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict, Lord Cameron, who made Ukraine his first trip after returning to frontline politics a fortnight ago, said Nato could “never turn a blind eye to Russian aggression”.