Ukraine ready to consider UN peacekeepers in Donbas, mission in NYC ordered to consult with UNSC
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has reacted to Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments on the possibility of stationing United Nations peacekeepers in Donbas. It believes that deploying such a mission can help restore peace and security to eastern Ukraine.
"Putin's comments cited by media testify to an attempt by Russia, a party to the conflict, to present the aggression in Donbas an internal Ukrainian conflict, and to distort the idea and goals of deploying a peacekeeping mission, which would not fulfill the main objective – the establishment of a lasting peace in Donbas and restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity. At the same time, Ukraine, as a responsible party to the initiative of deploying a UN peacekeeping mission, is prepared to work on this issue," the press statement said, adding that Ukraine's New York City mission "has been given instructions to conduct the necessary consultations with delegations to the UN Security Council."
At the same time, the Ukrainian foreign affairs ministry drew attention to the fact that in March 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko officially sent a letter the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN Security Council, asking to deploy a peacekeeping mission in Ukrainian territory under the auspices of the United Nations. This letter was distributed on April 2, 2015, as an official document of the UN Security Council. Prior to that, the presidential initiative had been supported by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada.
"The goal of such an operation should be to ensure a lasting peace in certain areas in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions on the basis of the Minsk accords and with observance of key principles and norms of the UN Charter with the strengthening of the presence of the OSCE SMM. Since then, Russia, as an aggressor state, has sabotaged Ukraine's proposals, refusing to consider our appeal to the UN Security Council and even claiming, as it was in June 2016, that Ukraine did not appeal to the Security Council," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry recalled.
Earlier on Tuesday, Putin expressed the opinion that the presence of UN peacekeepers in Donbas would have only benefited to the settlement of the Donbas crisis. He said he had ordered the Russian Foreign Ministry to submit a relevant resolution for consideration by the UN Security Council.
"I deem the presence of peacekeepers, or rather people ensuring security of the OSCE mission, to be quite appropriate and see nothing bad about it. Quite the opposite, I think it would help resolve the problem in southeastern Ukraine," Putin told a press conference on Tuesday, after the BRICS summit.
"Their sole function should be the provision of security of OSCE personnel," Putin said.
"Second of all, these forces should be stationed on the contact line, not in any other territory. Thirdly, the decision should be made after the forces disengage and the heavy weapons are pulled back, which cannot be done without direct contact with representatives of the self-proclaimed republics, the DPR [the so-called Donetsk People's Republic] and the LPR [the so-called Luhansk People's Republic]," Putin said.
"If that is done, it will definitely help solve problems in southeastern Ukraine. The minister is here, so we can order the Foreign Ministry right now to submit the relevant resolution to the Security Council," he said.