Ukraine initiates visit to Donbas by group of envoys of UN Security Council members
Ukraine's permanent representative at the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has reported the intention to organize a visit to Donbas by a group of permanent representatives of the UN Security Council member countries to convince them that there is a need to deploy a peacekeeping operation.
"This idea has appeared literally recently: to try to organize a visit to Donbas for a group of permanent representatives of the UN Security Council member countries so that they could become convinced that Ukraine really needs it [a UN peacekeeping operation in Ukraine], that the global community needs it," he said on TV Channel Five on Thursday.
Yelchenko recalled that he raised the question of a UN peacekeeping operation in Donbas at a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He also said he has begun discussing this issue with his colleagues in the UN Security Council specifically, with the representatives of France and the UK, and "the meetings will continue this week."
"This idea [the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas] has not been officially discussed in the Security Council. There have been some test contacts, that is, we tried to understand why this idea is taken without enthusiasm. Clearly, there is a fully predictable Russian veto. But besides that, there are a lot of other issues," Yelchenko said.
He recalled that in order for negotiations on this issue to begin the UN Secretariat needs to send an evaluation mission to Ukraine, "which will see how many staff and military men are needed, what the communications are, and what the size of the territory where they will be deployed is, and many other issues."
"I asked the secretary-general, and I will have a substantive talk with his deputy next Monday about what Ukraine needs to do for the UN Secretariat or the UN secretary-general to make such a decision [to send an evaluation mission to Ukraine]. This decision has not been made yet," the Ukrainian envoy at the UN said.
Yelchenko said a lot of work remains to be done.
"I wanted to speed it up, but nothing is done fast in the UN," he said.
Yelchenko also recalled that he is raising the issue of opening a UN office in Ukraine to support the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
"It's a little easier because it does not require the Security Council's decision, but the issue needs to be discussed," the diplomat said.
Yelchenko said work is being done on these tracks.
"I think the first results will appear in several weeks," he said.