Volker: Kremlin delaying deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas

Russia still has not put forward any new proposals concerning the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas, observed US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker in an interview with Public TV Donbas.

Volker is counting on their being another meeting with Russian presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov, but such a meeting is being hindered by the Kremlin’s lack of new offers. “We are corresponding with Surkov about the contents of this meeting. We submitted a proposal to deploy a UN peacekeeping mission which would provide security in the occupied territory and create conditions for the Minsk agreements to finally be implemented. I mean local elections, amnesty, etc.,” the special representative explained.

Russia and Surkov “objected to our proposal, and I asked him to send us their proposals and still to meet, in order discuss how productive they will be,” Volker noted.

“If we meet, it will be a very effective discussion. But we are still negotiating and have not agreed on a new meeting,” he continued.

“The Russians do not agree with the proposals we made, but they themselves have not yet proposed any variations,” Volker added.

Ukraine insists that the peacekeepers must be deployed throughout all the captured territories, including the border with Russia. Kyiv is also opposed to Russians being part of the mission.

Russia intercepted Ukraine’s peacekeeper initiative and proposed its own variant, according to which the peacekeepers would only be on the demarcation line in order to protect the OSCE special monitoring mission.

It is estimated that a contingent of 20,000 soldiers and 4,000 police officers from non-NATO states will be needed in order to stop the war in the Donbas.

In the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko urged the UN to send a peacekeeping mission into the Donbas, saying that the operation “could be the decisive factor to end the suffering of the Ukrainian nation”.

Poroshenko also called Putin’s proposal for the peacekeepers “eyewash”.

According to the Ukrainian president, whereas Ukraine is proposing the creation of a real UN peacekeeping mission, with international contingents deployed throughout the conflict area, Putin wants to restrict the mission to escorts for international observers.

The Kremlin has said that it will not compromise on the matter.

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