In a dramatic turn of events at the OSCE meeting in Skopje, the Ukrainian delegation walked out during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's speech, prompting him to interrupt his address and ask in English,
"Can you leave me alone, please? Thank you."
This incident, reported by Meduza, marks a significant moment in the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
As Lavrov began his speech, members of the Ukrainian delegation started to leave the meeting hall, according to European Pravda, citing their correspondent. At that moment, Lavrov was discussing the "deplorable state" of the OSCE and criticizing "Western political elites" for favoring NATO over the organization.
Delivering his speech in Russian, Lavrov paused mid-sentence while discussing "the blind expansion of NATO eastwards, which began after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact Organization." He then turned and asked in English to be left alone, before resuming his speech.
It was unclear from the broadcast who exactly Lavrov was addressing with his remark.
The part of the speech can be seen here on Telegram
The OSCE meeting, held in Skopje, North Macedonia, was notable for the absence of several key figures due to Lavrov's presence. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, along with the foreign ministers of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland, chose not to participate in the meeting.
Lavrov's journey to North Macedonia was itself contentious. Initially, the Russian Foreign Ministry had obtained special permission from Bulgarian authorities for Lavrov's plane to fly over Bulgaria, as Russian flights over Europe are generally banned due to sanctions.
However, the plane eventually flew through Greek airspace after Bulgarian authorities denied passage because Maria Zakharova, a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, was on board and not covered by the permission.