11:45 29.09.2017

Volker, Surkov to discuss possible UN peacekeeping for Donbas in early Oct - Tefft

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Volker, Surkov to discuss possible UN peacekeeping for Donbas in early Oct - Tefft

United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov will meet in early October to discuss the possibility of a United Nations peacekeeping mission for Donbas, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said.

The U.S. believes it is important to try to reach a mutual understanding on a mandate for such a possible peacekeeping mission, Tefft said in an interview published in the Kommersant newspaper.

These criteria are highly important and will be key when a decision on whether to send such a mission is made because the U.S. proceeds from the assumption that any operation of this kind should facilitate the implementation of the Minsk Agreements in the first place, he said.

A source familiar with the matter said last week that Volker and Surkov may meet in the Balkans in the first half of October.

Volker himself told reporters in Kyiv earlier that he planned to discuss issues concerning the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity and security at his upcoming meeting with Surkov.

The first meeting between Surkov and Volker was held in Minsk on August 21. Surkov said at the time that he was content with the discussion, calling it useful and constructive.

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