US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker plans to visit Ukraine this week, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
“In order to familiarize himself with the situation in the region, on Wednesday January 24, Volker will travel to eastern Ukraine, and on January 25 he will meet with Ukrainian officials in Kyiv,” the report states.
On Friday, January 26, Volker plans to meet with Russian Presidential Advisor Vladislav Surkov. The meeting will take place in Dubai instead of Serbian Belgrade, where the two diplomats had their previous meetings.
“During the negotiations, the parties will discuss the state of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as the prospects of introducing and the possible format of a peacekeeping mission,” the article reads.
Volker’s visit to the Donbas was also confirmed by Olha Ayvazovska, Ukraine’s representative in the Trilateral Contact Group. According to her, one of the key topics for discussion during the meeting will be the introduction of a peacekeeping force in the Donbas.
“This won’t be anything new, there are unlikely to be any new introductory positions, but each sides will voice their visions on this topic. And the US, at least, in the person of Volker, is interested in a real peacekeeping mission, because this conflict cannot be overcome without an effective third party, and a third party is not only observers, it is those who can be present, and by their presence can preventatively ensure the absence of combat and the non-interference of an aggressor in any events which could develop further,” she said in a broadcast of Channel 5.
She added that Volker must visit Ukraine before each meeting with Surkov.