Russian delegates at the Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly walked out after a not-too-friendly address from one of their Latvian colleagues.
Rihards Kols, the chairman of the Latvian Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee, was in no mood to hold back at the conference in Vienna.
Ahead of the meeting, the OSCE had come under intense criticism for allowing the presence of a delegation from aggressor state Russia which included sanctioned individuals.
Delegations from Ukraine and Lithuania chose not to attend rather than sit alongside the Russians, whereas Latvian representative Kols chose to stand his ground with a Ukrainian flag behind him.
“There’s an elephant in this room which is called by the name of the Russian Federation delegation. If I were a witness and somebody asked me: ‘Who is a war criminal?’ Well, I would point to the back benches in this room. It’s just a disgrace.
“It’s a disgrace that this delegation is here, particularly the delegation that consists of sanctioned individuals who voted to annex independent countries’ territories… those are the principles this institution was vouched to protect and guard! And we are sitting like nothing happened!”
He signed off with a famous quotation that may not be considered classically diplomatic but was nevertheless perfectly suited to the occasion: “Russian warship, go fuck yourself.”
Watch the clip in full below:
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