German Foreign Minister: peacekeepers must be present in all separatist-held territory of Donbas

At a joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, in Kyiv on Wednesday, the German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, stated that the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas should be extended to the separatist-controlled territory and its members must be armed.

"This has to be an armed, powerful UN peacekeeping mission that is present across the entire separatist-held territory and not only one guarding the OSCE observers as a small group," Interfax-Ukraine quoted Gabriel as saying.

According to the Head of the German Federal Foreign Office, if the peacekeepers are only along the contact line, then it will create a "new border for Ukraine."

"We, alongside our French counterparts, as well as all the UN Security Council member countries will work on the introduction of a real UN peacekeeping mission to the Donbas," Gabriel said.

As is known, Russia has seized Ukraine’s initiative regarding the peacemakers in the Donbas and has offered an option which assumes the presence of the mission only along the demarcation line for the protection of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) observers.

Ukraine insists on peacemakers throughout the terrorist-controlled territory, including the border with Russia.

Kyiv is also against the Russians being a member of the UN peacekeeping mission if it is sent to eastern Ukraine.

On November 13, 2017, Volker passed the Surkov amendments to the Russian draft resolution on the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas, however, the Russian delegation stated only 3 of the 25 items were acceptable.

  peacekeeping mission, Donbas, Sigmar Gabriel, Ukraine