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20 August 2017
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Ukraine's Foreign Ministry discusses alternative forms of UN presence in Donbas

Negotiations to ensure a United Nations presence to establish peace in eastern Ukraine are under way, according to a representative of Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

REUTERS
REUTERS

Not only a UN peacekeeping mission, but also other forms of a UN presence in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, are being discussed, Deputy Foreign Minister for international organizations Serhiy Kyslytsia told Voice of America in an exclusive interview.

"The negotiations are under way, despite statements made by Moscow. This issue is not closed by the UN as of today. Talks are held at all levels, at the level of the president, at the level of the minister of foreign affairs. I will also have a meeting at the UN headquarters. In addition, we discuss other forms of a UN presence in Ukraine to step up assistance in the settlement of problems that have emerged because of the war with Russia," he said.

The negotiation process continues despite the obstacles created by Russia. "Even in keeping with the ideal scenarios of the deployment of the mission, even when there is the consent of all the members of the [UN] Security Council, this is a matter of at least six months. Currently, we're in our second month of negotiations with the United Nations," he said.

At the same time, he said, the Ukrainian side is well aware of the realities of the work of the United Nations where Russia remains a permanent member of the UN Security Council and therefore has the right to block the adoption of a mandate to deploy the mission.

"But in that case, let Russia explain why it doesn't want UN peacekeepers to be in Ukraine and help Ukraine and the international community put an end to this war," Kyslytsia said

He is pessimistic about the option of the so-called "Korean scenario," when the General Assembly of the United Nations can take a decision bypassing the UN Security Council.

"In my belief, this exists in UN manuals only. In reality, even if the UN General Assembly adopted such a decision, it would not cancel the UN Charter, under which decisions taken by the Security Council are binding, while decisions taken by the General Assembly are recommendations," he said.

Kyslytsia also said that the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission also covers Crimea and he had his own explanation why Russia did not allow OSCE monitors there.

"Only the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has managed to visit Crimea. Unfortunately, all our other efforts and efforts by other organizations to come to Crimea have failed. Russia cannot accept the position of the OSCE, the UN and the Council of Europe, which haven't recognized, do not recognize and won't recognize the occupation of Crimea. This is one of the reasons why the Kremlin does not let international organizations' representatives in Crimea," he added.

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