SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good afternoon, everyone. It’s a great pleasure to have the secretary general of the OSCE here, a longtime colleague and someone who’s doing an extraordinary job leading what has been, for nearly 50 years – a vital institution for all of Eurasia, one the United States strongly supports. And we see the incredible work the OSCE is doing under very difficult circumstances in so many different countries, with field missions that are making a real difference in people’s lives in terms of security, in terms of their economic well-being, dealing with the environment, in so many other areas.
It’s vitally important that the OSCE be able to continue all of its work and all of its missions. Unfortunately, it’s been on the receiving end of considerable obstructionism from Russia in trying to prevent it from moving forward. But despite that, thanks to the very good work of the secretary general and the team, it’s found ways to continue to do its work. And it’s vital that that remain the case.
I look forward to discussing the vital work the OSCE is doing, the support the United States has for it, and in particular, in this moment, the work that it’s doing to show unified support for Ukraine as it continues to face this egregious Russian aggression. So, lots to discuss, but Helga, it’s very good to have you here. Welcome.
SECRETARY GENERAL SCHMID: Mr. Secretary, Tony, thanks so much. The U.S. is really crucial to the work we do, has always been right from the start. So, thanks for your excellent support. Thanks for your leadership. We have a lot of things on our agenda, lots of challenges, and with all the challenges to security we’re facing, I think we have to work together.
And this is what we do also in the OSCE when we support Ukraine – you mentioned it – Moldova – when we compare the threats such as climate change or human trafficking, where the OSCE really delivers unique added value, I would say real value for money. We are delivering for 1.3 billion citizens across the OSCE area from Kansas to Kyiv to Kazakhstan. But there’s even more mission we should do, we could do. And this is why I’m here, and this is what I’m looking forward to discussing. So, thanks so much.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you. Great to have you. Thanks, everyone. Come on back.