Federal Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz says his country supports the idea of deploying a peacekeeping mission to Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
"This subject is right. We support this idea," Kurz said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Vienna, Austria, on February 8.
Read alsoU.S. Mission to OSCE continues insisting Russia behind Donbas war"My understanding is that until this happens, many talks will be held, many steps will need to be taken. But I am glad that the initiative comes from the Ukrainian side. Of course, we are ready to help implement this initiative," he said.
"We also know that positive signals on this issue come even from Russia, and if we can do something in this direction, of course, we will do it ... Once this peacekeeping mission is established, the question of countries that will participate in the mission will be decided. And if there is a request or invitation from the Ukrainian side to join or provide some kind of assistance, we, on the part of the federal government, on the part of the Austrian defense minister, will hold a discussion to find it out," Kurz said, adding that Austria had participated in similar missions before.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 20, 2017, President Poroshenko, speaking at the general debate of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, said that the UN peacekeeping mission should be deployed throughout the occupied Donbas, including the uncontrolled section of the border with Russia.
Before that, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the deployment of UN peacekeepers only along the contact line in Donbas to "ensure safety" of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. He claimed that issue could not be resolved without Ukraine's direct contact with the "leaders" of Russian-backed militants in Donbas. Russia then sent the UN leadership a draft resolution on a peacekeeping mission in Donbas.
The United States, in turn, insists that the UN peacekeeping mission should have access to the Ukrainian-Russian border and should exclude Russian citizens.