Bulgaria has granted overflight approval for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s plane en route to North Macedonia for the OSCE Ministerial Council, the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy in Sofia said late Monday.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that he would attend the OSCE meeting in North Macedonia if Bulgaria opened its airspace to the Russian delegation’s planes.
“Bulgaria has apparently promised Macedonia it will open its airspace. If that happens, we will be there,”Lavrov said.
Meanwhile, European Commission Spokesperson Peter Stano said Lavrov’s attendance would not violate European sanctions against Russia.
“Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov can travel to an EU country or North Macedonia, despite being on the European list of sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine. EU countries can allow Lavrov’s plane to fly over as can authorities in Skopje issue permission for landing,”Stano said.
The 30th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will take place 30 November – 1 December 2023 in Skopje. It has been announced that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will also visit Skopje, but for now it is not planned that he will have a separate meeting with his Russian colleague Lavrov.