Deputy head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group, Vitold Fokin, admitted that an international UN Provisional Government could be set up in the occupied territories of Donbas, which could in turn ensure the holding of local elections.

"The mandate of the UN Security Council contains the right to create an international provisional government for a required period - maybe for a year or two… And security can be guaranteed by international peacekeepers, that is, the UN military contingent... In fact, this isn't a new proposal. We have already spoken about it," Fokin said, speaking at the Persona Grata show on Ukrainian Radio.

The delegate says Russia agreed to this tool toward settlement, while noting that Russia insists on UN military contingent to be amassed on the existing line of demarcation between the warring sides in Donbas. To this, Fokin believes, Ukraine must not agree.

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"I fully agree that security must be ensured before elections are held. But what means should be applied to ensure security? It's the country's leaders who should think about that. As one of such means, I proposed applying the mandate of the UN Security Council and forming a Provisional Government in the territories that are now beyond Ukraine's control," the negotiator continued.

Idea of peacekeepers in Donbas: background

The issue of introducing an international peacekeeping contingent in Donbas has been discussed for several years. In 2017, it was raised at the level of the UN Security Council, but to no avail.

Vice Prime Minister, Minister for the Reintegration of the Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov is confident that Ukraine will need the help of UN peacekeepers in resolving the conflict in Donbas. He believes the issue has been backshelved so far, but not totally removed from the agenda.

UN Provisional Government: memo

A provisional government, also called an interim government, an emergency government, or a transitional government, is an emergency governmental authority set up to manage a political transition generally in the cases of new nations or following the collapse of the previous governing administration. Provisional governments are generally appointed, and frequently arise, either during or after civil or foreign wars, as per Wikipedia.

Read alsoMP slams Ukraine's first PM over "Donbas pardon" statementProvisional governments maintain power until a new government can be appointed by a regular political process, which is generally an election.

Fokin's earlier statements

  • Late last month, Vitold Fokin voiced a controversial opinion on the need to pardon members of Russian proxy forces in Donbas, as well as provide a special status for Donbas, all aimed to reach settlement.
  • The statements sparked public outcry, which prompted Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov to state that Vitold Fokin in his commentary was not voicing the official position of the Ukrainian government.
  • On September 15, Vice PM Oleksiy Reznikov said work is underway to select a spokesperson for the Trilateral Contact Group who would make statements on the part of the Ukrainian delegation to make sure there is "one voice" and common position on all issues.