US advises Ukraine not to propose its own resolution on peacekeepers in Donbas, but instead to reach agreement with Russia

The US advised Ukraine not to introduce a competing resolution on the UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas in response to the Russian resolution, but rather to attempt to reach an agreement, as expressed by US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker.

“Several years ago Ukraine introduced the idea of deploying a UN peacekeeping mission in Eastern Ukraine. At the time Russia was not willing to look into it. When Russia put forward its own idea in September, Ukraine was ready to bring its own proposal… We discussed this with Ukraine and said, ‘Let’s not put forward a competing resolution, let’s try to begin discussion on the principles of what an effective peacekeeping mission should do. And see if we can reach an agreement’,” the American diplomat said at a briefing in Washington.

According to him, the principles and elements of the UN mission are currently being discussed, the State Department reports.

“We are discussing the principles and elements which should be in the future resolution of the UN Security Council. And if we are able to agree, this will be the best option for moving forward,” Volker explained.

According to him, the US, in addition to Russia and Ukraine, is conducting diplomatic discussion and coordinating with France and Germany, as partners in the Normandy format, as well as Britain and Sweden, which are currently members of the UN Security Council.
In Volker’s opinion, in order for the peacekeeping mission to be effective, it must have control of all the Donbas territory in order to observe the movement of heavy weaponry and to control that part of the Russian-Ukrainian border.

“We are trying to see if it is possible to create conditions for [the deployment of] UN peacekeeping forces, in order to monitor the territory in Eastern Ukraine. This would make it possible to establish trust between the parties, at least towards the international UN forces, and it would create an opportunity for Ukraine to move forward in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, especially the holding of elections, which they cannot do at present,” the State Department cites Volker as saying.

The special representative also said that on 13 November he would meet with Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov for the third time.

“I have had two meetings with my colleague Vladislav Surkov… Let’s see if we can achieve progress. And I will have a third meeting with him in Belgrade on 13 November,” the US diplomat added.

  Donbas, UN peacekeeping mission, Russia, Ukraine, Kurt Volker