There can be no Russians among peacekeepers in Donbas - Foreign Ministry

There can be no Russians among peacekeepers in Donbas - Foreign Ministry

Ukraine is ready to work on the deployment of a UN-led peacekeeping operation on the territory of the state in line with an official address made by President Petro Poroshenko to the UN secretary general and the head of the UN Security Council in March 2015.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated this in a comment following reports in the media about the latest statements by the Russian leadership regarding the possibility of deploying UN peacekeepers in the Donbas.

"Media reports on a statement by the Russian president are a sign of the repeated intention of Russia, as a party to the conflict, to present its aggression as the internal Ukrainian conflict and distort the very idea and purpose of the introduction of a peacekeeping operation, which will not help achieve the main goal of establishing sustainable peace in the Donbas and restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine," reads the document.

At the same time, the ministry added that Ukraine, as a consistent supporter of the initiative to deploy a UN peacekeeping operation in the Donbas, is ready to work on this issue. "In this regard, the Permanent Mission of Ukraine in New York was instructed with holding respective consultations with delegations to the UN Security Council," reads the statement.

The ministry noted that in March 2015, Poroshenko formally sent an address to the UN secretary general and the UN Security Council head regarding the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation on the Ukrainian territory. This letter was made public on April 2, 2015 as an official document of the UN Security Council. The respective initiative of the head of state was previously supported by the National Security and Defense Council and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

"Since then, Russia, as an aggressor state, has constantly sabotaged Ukraine's proposals, refusing to consider our appeal to the UN Security Council and even claiming, as was the case in June 2016, that Ukraine did not apply to the Security Council," the ministry said.

The ministry said that Ukraine had always defended a clear position that any international peacekeeping presence should be introduced with the consent and after extensive consultations with the Ukrainian side and that it should envisage the withdrawal of all occupation troops and mercenaries, as well as their weapons from the Ukrainian territory and ensure reliable control of the Ukrainian-Russian border to prevent the entry of Russian military, weapons, equipment and mercenaries into Ukraine.

"In the event of the decision to introduce a peacekeeping operation, there can be no question of the presence of military or other personnel of the aggressor party on the territory of Ukraine under the guise of peacekeepers, as this would be contrary to the basic principles of the UN peacekeeping activity. There can equally be no question of the receipt of the consent to conduct a UN peacekeeping operation from illegal armed forces operating on the territory of certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions with the support, funding and logistics provision of the Russian Federation," reads the document.

The ministry expressed conviction that the strict observance by the Russian side of the permanent and complete back-to-school ceasefire declared at the end of August should create a favorable basis for launching the dialogue to deploy the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Donbas.

On Tuesday, September 5, Putin approved the idea of introducing UN peacekeepers to the Donbas to protect the OSCE mission, but said that these forces should stay only on the contact line and that this should be coordinated with "LPR" and "DPR."

Earlier, on August 22, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine would initiate the introduction of UN peacekeepers to the uncontrolled territories of the Donbas at the autumn session of the UN General Assembly.


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