US opposes Russia’s participation in U.N. peacekeeping force in Donbas

US opposes Russia’s participation in U.N. peacekeeping force in Donbas

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Ukrinform
A true U.N. peacekeeping force should be deployed in Donbas, which must have access to the Ukraine-Russia border and not have any Russian personnel in it.

 U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said this in a commentary to The Washington Post.

In particular, the Trump administration believes that the U.N. peacekeeping force should have security authority throughout contested areas and access to the Ukraine-Russia border. "The force must have access to the Ukraine-Russia border and not have any Russian personnel in it," the U.S. Special Representative is quoted as saying.

The U.S. idea, Volker said, is to create a true U.N. peacekeeping force that would have not only free rein but also security authority throughout contested areas.

Washington's strategy is based on the assumption that Putin is looking for — or at least considering — a way out of his financial and military commitments in eastern Ukraine. If Putin’s long-term goal is to create a pro-Moscow Ukraine, his continued interference is having the opposite effect, Volker said.

The American diplomat said that he intends to continue negotiations.

“What we are trying to do is clarify the options,” Volker said. “If they want to dig in, they can, but it’s going to cost a lot. If they want to move on, it can be something we all agree on and we can find a way to make that work out.”

As noted, Ukraine has responsibilities under Minsk as well, including holding local elections in eastern Ukraine, giving the region special status and granting amnesty for the separatists. That can happen only if Putin holds up his end, the author of the article pointed out.

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