Poroshenko at UNSC: Deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas is out of question

Poroshenko at UNSC: Deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas is out of question

The tragedy in eastern Ukraine, which claimed the lives of 10,000 people, wounded 25,000 citizens and turned 1.8 million people into internally displaced persons, has reached such a level that the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in Donbas should not be thrown into question.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made such a statement at a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"People's rights to life, liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience continue to be violated on a daily basis. They can be killed for going to a wrong church, speaking a wrong language – or just disagreeing," he said.

He recalled that the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine had recorded 161 conflict-related civilian casualties in the period from mid-May to August 2017, with 26 deaths and 135 injuries.

"If tragedy on this scale doesn't warrant UN peace presence, than what does? In this regard, I would like to reaffirm my request to this Council to deploy peacekeepers in Donbas – we need to move forward on this track, the sooner – the better," Poroshenko said.

He welcomed the beginning of discussions on this issue at the Security Council and said that Ukraine was ready for constructive participation.

"I must, at the same time, reiterate that a road to effective peacekeeping – and, eventually, to the settlement – lies through unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military personnel, mercenaries, their weapons and equipment from Ukraine," Poroshenko said.

He also stressed the need to secure "reliable international control over the temporarily uncontrolled part of the Ukrainian-Russian state border."

"This is the key, as there can be no success in bringing peace in Donbas without preventing Russian troops, arms, equipment and mercenaries to continue to infiltrate into Donbas," Poroshenko said.

The president stressed that the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force should restore justice, restore Ukraine's sovereignty over its territory, rather than freeze the conflict and consolidate occupation. "No one can take away Ukraine's freedom," Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko also stressed that the creation of this force should be based on all UN peacekeeping principles. "And we will insist on this throughout the negotiation process, no matter how long it will take," he said.


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