How Internal Squabbling Paralyzed Europe’s Most Vital Security Organization

The former secretary general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Thomas Greminger, arrives for the 25th OSCE ministerial council meeting, in Milan, Italy, Dec. 6, 2018 (AP photo/Antonio Calanni).
The former secretary general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Thomas Greminger, arrives for the 25th OSCE ministerial council meeting, in Milan, Italy, Dec. 6, 2018 (AP photo/Antonio Calanni).
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VIENNA—Just before breaking for their summer recess, in early June, ambassadors to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe had one major item on their agenda. The terms of the organization’s four top leaders were set to expire in mid-July, so the OSCE planned to reappoint each of them for another three-year stint. The extensions were widely seen as mere formalities—nothing out of the ordinary. But then, on June 11, a letter of protest from Azerbaijan changed everything, turning an otherwise routine decision into a political power struggle that culminated in the toppling of the OSCE’s entire senior leadership […]

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