MFA Ukraine: No concept, no consensus on peacekeepers within Normandy Four
There is no consensus and no unified concept on the introduction of UN peacekeeping forces to Donbas in Normandy Four negotiations with the participation of Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia, according to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on European Integration Olena Zerkal.
"In order to find some compromises, we must first have some kind of concept. One can talk about different stages, about different composition and everything else if you have a concept of what you're willing to achieve and an agreement between the parties to achieve the objectives of this concept. There is no such concept," Zerkal told TV Channel 5.
"There is no concept in the Normandy format on the peacekeeping mission so, of course, that there is no consensus," said the diplomat.
"Lavrov continues to play the game claiming that peacekeepers are required to accompany the OSCE SMM. Moreover, it's about them accompanying [the SMM] only where the local "authorities" [militants] will allow them," Zerkal said.
According to the Ukrainian official, the position of the Russian side on the need for peacekeeping forces to accompany the OSCE observers is actually a "step back."
As UNIAN reported earlier, following the latest meeting of the Normandy Four foreign ministers in Berlin June 12, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin expressed the position that the UN peacekeeping forces should receive a real mandate to disarm illegal armed groups and search for concealed heavy weapons throughout the occupied Donbas. In his opinion, the powers of peacekeepers should not be limited only to escorting the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
At the same time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia was against the proposal of Ukraine and the United States that the UN mission take control over the occupied Donbas to organize elections.
Klimkin said that the Normandy Four had substantively discussed the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission.