Kurt Volker: UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas could unlock Minsk agreements

Kurt Volker: UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas could unlock Minsk agreements

A UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas could unlock the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations wrote this on Twitter while participating at the U.S. Helsinki Commission briefing in Washington.

"A UN-mandated peacekeeping force could unlock implementation of the Minsk agreements and lead to restoration of Ukrainian control of territory," he wrote.

Volker added that several countries had already offered to contribute to the mission “under the right conditions.”

The U.S. Special Representative noted that a peacekeeping force would help the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine do its job more effectively and could also help the OSCE to ensure fair, trusted policing, help administer local elections, and monitoring local elections.

The Special Representative of the U.S. Department of State called the conflict in Donbas an artificial one. "This is not an ethnic conflict. It is an artificial conflict that harms Ukrainian and Russian-speakers on both sides... because of an explicit Russian government policy," he stressed.

Volcker noted that Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine had created an unacceptable human toll as over the past year there had been 300 civilian casualties and almost 900 Ukrainian military casualties.


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