France announced the launch of a “mechanism” on human rights in Russia in the OSCE

The French Foreign Ministry announced the launch of the Moscow Mechanism for Human Rights in Russia The situation of human rights in Russia has caused alarm among 38 OSCE member states, the Moscow Mechanism has been launched to assess the situation, the French Foreign Ministry said. The Russian Foreign Ministry previously accused OSCE experts of politicization media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Most of the OSCE countries, due to the “alarming situation” in the field of observance of human rights in Russia and the introduction of a large number of “restrictive and repressive measures”; involved the Moscow mechanism. This was announced by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The commission should assess the state of Russia's fulfillment of its obligations and identify the actions of the Russian government that led to the current situation with human rights and fundamental freedoms,”— the ministry said.

As part of this mechanism, a group of independent experts will prepare a report on the most serious threats to Russia's OSCE commitments. In particular— regarding democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, the French Foreign Ministry said.

This is the third time that France has participated in the launch of the Moscow Mechanism, the previous two were associated with a Russian special operation in Ukraine. Now the launch of the mechanism has been supported by 38 OSCE member states, in total 57 countries are members of the organization.

Within the framework of the Moscow Mechanism, OSCE experts have not previously recognized Belarus as a party to the armed conflict in Ukraine, despite the use by Russian forces of its territory for strikes. “As of April 1, it [Belarus] is not a party to an armed conflict until it itself commits acts of violence or other actions that would constitute direct participation in hostilities,” — said in the report.

The OSCE has various mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of commitments in the field of human rights and democracy, one of them — the “mechanism of the human dimension”, of which the Moscow Mechanism is a part. It allows the formation of independent panels of experts to “assist in resolving specific problems.”

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The Moscow Mechanism was established about 30 years ago— in 1991, in the development of a similar Vienna Mechanism. It was activated, among other things, in 1992 after reports of attacks on civilians in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1999— because of the NATO military operation in the former Yugoslavia. The mechanism was used from 2002 to 2020 to assess events related to human rights violations. Among other things, in Russia, Belarus and Turkmenistan.

The Russian authorities criticized the conclusions of experts working within the framework of the Moscow Mechanism. “There is a desire to use these OSCE mechanisms not to strengthen cooperation <…> and in order to politicize certain issues of the humanitarian sphere. Such an approach is an abuse of the tools of the OSCE»,— said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova. Official Minsk saw the launch of the Moscow mechanism as an “odious overt” double standard “, the Turkmen authorities— attempts to exert pressure.

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