Volker: Russia ready for the introduction and gradual expansion of a UN mission in Donbas

US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker announced that Russia is ready for a UN peacekeeping mission to be located not only on the contact line in the Donbas, but also on its wider territories. Hromadske reports that Volker announced this during a telephone conference with journalists following a meeting with presidential aide Vladislav Surkov.

"This time [during the meeting with Surkov] I think there was more openness [from Russia] in thinking about a wider mandate for the peacekeeping force," Volker said.

In his opinion, the UN mission can expand later on, after it starts working.

"So it could start, for instance, along the line of conflict… then move to the next phase of deployment and the next phase of deployment, and you end up with a peacekeeping force throughout the entire area [of the Donbas]," Volker said.
"The Russian side is going to then come back to us with a revised proposal as to how they would envision it [the mission] working, and then we’ll have to look at that."

He clarified that he had not received information from Surkov on Russia’s thoughts regarding specific dates for bringing peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine.

On January 26, Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov and US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker held a meeting in Dubai.

  peacekeeping mission, Kurt Volker, Donbas, Ukraine