13:57 19.05.2015

UN support office must settle Donbas' demilitarization, reintegration – Ukrainian UN Ambassador

UN support office must settle Donbas' demilitarization, reintegration – Ukrainian UN Ambassador

The UN support office that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon agreed to create must work on maintaining the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, and the demilitarization of Donbas and its further reintegration, Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Yuriy Serheyev has said.

"The support office might become the first phase of something deeper. However, at the beginning it's a stabilizing and political mission," Serheyev said in an interview with "Dzerkalo Tyzhnia. Ukraina" weekly which was posted on Saturday.

He said that the office's functions will depend on its mandate, which is still to be agreed upon. He also said that the office would provide strong support to the OSCE.

"The UN suggests that as support of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, a support office should be created in Ukraine, which will be [the agency] responsible for the region's demilitarization and its further reintegration. The final mandate will depend on the consultations we must hold with the OSCE and EU. Obviously, some decisions will be [made] by the EU. All these must facilitate the implementation of the Minsk agreements," Serheyev said.

He said that the office would report to the UN Secretary General on ongoing events in Ukraine and would make suggestions to solve various problems.

"For example, where there's a need for demining experts, the UN will help us with that by involving its UNMAS special detachment…," Serheyev said.

He said that the Secretary General can decide to create such an office and inform the UN Security Council about it, and can also decide to create the office after consulting with UN Security Council.

In addition, Serheyev said that the creation of the UN support office would not prevent a peacekeeping mission from being dispatched to Ukraine.

"We aren't recalling our request, it's being worked on. Relevant consultations go on. But everything will depend on the further development of the situation," he said.

He added that the UN would create an integrated office consisting of three UN departments – political, peacekeeping and field support, and that the location of the office, and whether it will be based in one place or several places, is still being discussed.

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