Ukraine proposes sending EU mission to Donbas
Ukraine is in talks with the European Union countries over the possibility of the EU sending a mission to Donbas, Ukrainian Ambassador to the EU Kostiantyn Yeliseyev said.
"We have suggested that the EU should send an assessment mission to Donbas in the very near future, which would arrive and see what should be done and how. This is a necessary component for discussing, planning and taking a relevant decision," the ambassador said in an interview with the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (The Weekly Mirror) newspaper, published on Saturday.
A consensus among all EU members is enough for such a mission to be sent, he said. This is why all efforts of the Ukrainian diplomacy are now focused on making sure such as consensus is achieved. "We delivered our proposals which describe clearly 15 possible tasks the future EU mission could be fulfilling. I will stress: in support of implementation of the Minsk agreements," said Yeliseyev, stressing that deployment of the EU operation was by no means against such agreements. "On the contrary, it will foster their implementation. The EU mission will work together and in coordination with the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) mission," he said.
The EU has big experience in ensuring free and democratic elections in former "hotspots" - the Balkans, Yeliseyev recalled. "So, in our view, deployment of such a mission would be a visible EU contribution in supporting peace and stability in Ukraine. Because right now only a reinforced OSCE mission and several more armored vehicles or a few million euros more from the EU is not enough. We believe that the EU contribution must be more substantial and concrete. We are currently holding a discussion with our partners," the ambassador said.