A meeting of Europe's largest security organization opened Thursday with foreign ministers and other representatives strongly denouncing Russia's war against Ukraine, a conflict that is among the greatest challenges the body has faced in its nearly half-century of existence.

Along with the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was founded to maintain peace and stability on the continent, has provided a rare international forum for Russia and Western powers to discuss security matters.

But since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the 57-nation OSCE has become another venue where the bitter clash between Russia and the West has played out, exposing the organization’s own inadequacies in helping to resolve the conflict.

The two-day ministerial meeting in Lodz, Poland, is its first since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Notably absent was Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was banned from entering Poland.

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