The Russian delegates at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's winter meeting walked out, after a Latvian delegate shouted an expletive at them, according to the London Economic.
Chairman of the Latvian Foreign Affairs Committee, Rihards Kols, did not join other delegates, who chose to leave rather than sit with the Russian delegation, and preferred to use his adress to make choice remarks to the Russians in the room.
The offensive remarks
“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," Kols said.
“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 ended his speech with the now famous quotation: “Russian warship, go f*** yourself,” which was used by the Ukrainian defenders of Snake Island against an attacking warship.
To the disgrace that is the presence of the #Russian delegation of sanctioned war criminals at the @oscepa, I can only repeat what #Ukrainian border guards so eloquently put nearly a year ago when addressing a particular Russian warship. #OSCEPA #OSCE pic.twitter.com/FQxEXSGvpN— Rihards Kols (@RihardsKols) February 23, 2023
Before the meeting, the OSCE had received criticism after it allowed a Russian delegation, which included individuals sanctioned by the EU, to take part.
They had been given visas by the Austrian government, which claimed it was bound by international agreements to do so, even though Russian MPs were not invited to previous OSCE meetings in the UK and Poland, the website Euronews reported.
"It is of course, difficult to sit with Russian parliamentarians who have blindly supported the Kremlin's war," said Margareta Cederfelt, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President. "But it is important that the Russian MPs hear our message. I will be sure to let them know that we reject the war and that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly supports Ukraine."