Russia's proposal on peacekeepers in Donbas to further divide Ukraine, not resolve conflict – Volker
United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker considers that Russia's proposal for deployment of peacekeepers in Donbas will further divide Ukraine, and not resolve the conflict, according to an UNIAN correspondent, reporting from the 14th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting (YES) in Kyiv on September 16.
Volker said it was very interesting to see how Russia offered a peacekeeping mission, a UN mission, last week, noting that the Russian Federation had not previously supported the deployment of such a mission.
According to the official, the details of what was proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in fact, will further divide Ukraine, and not solve the problem.
However, he believes that the very fact of such a proposal is important and should be properly studied.
Moreover, he said that if a discussion could be held there to ensure security that would replace Russian forces and provide the monitoring of heavy weapons, as well as control over the border, this would be a significant step forward, the basis for implementing the Minsk agreements and restoring the country's territorial integrity.
Read alsoVolker: Russian-speaking people in Ukraine suffer only in Russian-controlled areaAs UNIAN reported earlier, on August 22, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared his intention to present the idea of deploying a peacekeeping mission in Donbas at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, which launched its work in New York September 12.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on September 5 he considered the deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas "quite appropriate," but only along the line of contact and with the aim of protecting the OSCE mission. At the same time, he stressed the issue could not be resolved without direct contact with representatives of pro-Russian militants in Donbas.
Following that, Russia sent a draft resolution to the UN leadership regarding the deployment of peacekeepers in Donbas.
Poroshenko, in turn, said on September 7 that the UN peacekeepers should be deployed throughout the temporarily occupied territory, including an uncontrolled section of the border with the Russian Federation.
On September 8, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov specified Putin's words about the deployment of peacekeepers on the contact line in eastern Ukraine. "These are not UN forces, it is precisely the mission to promote the protection of OSCE observers. It is in full accordance with the logic of the Minsk accords," he said.