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Lavrov Says OSCE Too Easy on NGOs

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the OSCE was ?€?incoherent?€? and open for manipulation. S. Porter

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ripped into the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Wednesday, saying it was "incoherent" and open for manipulation.

Addressing the State Duma, Lavrov complained that the OSCE allowed member states to interfere in one another's domestic affairs by letting nongovernmental organizations set up field missions under the OSCE's umbrella.

They can "just notify the OSCE secretariat that Country X is opening in Country Y a center for training journalists to cover orange revolutions — and this needs not even a reply from the secretariat," he told deputies, Interfax reported.

Lavrov also lamented that Moscow had little support for its criticism among the 57 member states. "The majority of our partners do not want to change anything. They seem happy with the present incoherent state of the OSCE," he said.

Moscow has long expressed frustration with the OSCE, the sole security and human rights organization that encompasses most European and former Soviet states as well as North America. Western governments have given a cool reception to Russia's proposals for reforming the organization.

Lavrov also told deputies that he was frustrated about a lack of progress in two cases where foreigners with diplomatic status caused road accidents in Russia.

He said his ministry was still seeking compensation for Alexander Kashin, who was paralyzed in a 1998 crash involving the U.S. consul general in Vladivostok, Douglas Kent.

"I have never failed to raise the issue at every meeting with [former U.S. Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice and at every meeting with [her successor] Hillary Clinton," Lavrov said.

Kashin has rejected a U.S. offer of $100,000 in compensation as too low and has unsuccessfully filed civil suits in U.S. courts seeking $9 million.

Lavrov also said Moscow might file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for compensation from a German who killed two pedestrians with his car in southern Moscow last year. The driver was granted diplomatic immunity because he worked as a teacher at the German Embassy school.

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