The European Commission has commented on the possible trip of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov together with the delegation to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) ministerial meeting held in North Macedonia, Peter Stano, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stated during a briefing.
Stano noted that Lavrov is "of course" under sanctions, but "derogations" or "exceptions" are possible from the restrictions.
"And this is linked exactly to the participation in multilateral forums such as the UN, or OSCE in this case," Stano said.
He also indicated that persons under sanctions can travel to the EU or countries that support sanctions, if the purpose of their stay "is linked to the reasons why they were listed".
"And logically, OSCE is an organisation for cooperation and security in Europe, [and] has a very important part of its agenda, the current aggression by Russian in Ukraine," Stano added.
The spokesperson said the EU will not object if the North Macedonian authorities or authorities of other countries allow the plane with Lavrov to fly through their territory or allow the Russian minister to personally participate in the meeting.
"This would be okay if countries decide to allow the plane of the Russian Federation to fly over their territory, or if the authorities of North Macedonia allow the landing and participation of Lavrov in person," he emphasised.
Stano added that the OSCE meeting is another platform where European representatives will be able to tell the Russian authorities about the illegality of aggression against Ukraine and expose their manipulative statements.