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Analysts say Ukraine president’s idea of inviting UN peacekeeping force is a ploy

February 19, 2015, 16:40 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Ukraine’s declared intention to address the United Nations and the European Union with a request for moving a peacekeeping contingent to his country in reality pursues the aim of isolating defiant Donbas and upsetting the Minsk Accords, polled experts told TASS.

On Wednesday, when Kiev’s stunning failure at Debaltsevo was clear to any unbiased onlooker, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked the National Security and Defense Council to consider the issue of inviting an international contingent to Ukraine, adding that in his opinion, a policing mission by the European Union would be the best format possible.

"It would be the most effective safeguard of peace," Poroshenko said. In return, the National Security and Defense Council has suggested placing peacekeepers not just along the disengagement line in the conflict-ravaged east of Ukraine, but also along the stretch of the border with Russia that the authorities in Kiev do not control.

"UN police forces can be moved into countries experiencing internal conflicts only after UN peacekeepers first manage to achieve disengagement of the warring factions," deputy director of the Institute of US and Canada Studies Pavel Zolotaryov told TASS. "UN police contingents then start doing the job of Interior Ministry troops to maintain public law and order. I believe that the Ukrainian president’s proposal for deploying a UN police contingent merely reveals his own incompetence when it comes to international law-related matters."

Says retired Major-General Pavel Zolotaryov: "The latest idea the Ukrainian president and National Security and Defense Council have come up with is nothing but a ploy, an evasive action. Presence of a UN peacekeeping force is by no means required for effecting a ceasefire or pulling heavy armaments away from the line of engagement with the militias. It’s just a matter of observing the February 12 Minsk Accords. No obstructions to this exist at all."

Director of the Political Studies Institute Sergey Markov told TASS: "The real aim behind Poroshenko’s idea is to get NATO involved in military operations in Donbas. He is mulling the possibility of inviting not just UN observers who would be monitoring the disengagement line between the conflicting parties, but a police mission which, according to UN rules, has the power to use weapons. Kiev’s plan is to surround Donbass by a UN policing contingent and force the area into submission. The president of neighbouring Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, offered to send his troops as peacekeepers to Donbas last autumn. Kiev rejected the proposal. What Kiev is really after is not peace, but a blockade of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. Poroshenko is now conducting a public relations campaign to position himself as a victim in dire need of being protected by an international policeman.

"At some future date, when the situation in the conflict zone has returned to normal by and large, it might be possible to agree an arrangement to place UN peacekeepers between Donbas and the rest of Ukraine’s territory. But these should be contingents from neutral countries only, such as India, Brazil and Argentina, for instance, but by no means NATO members.

Head of Russia's Academy of Sciences’ International Security Centre Alexey Arbatov told TASS: "As he raised the need for a UN peacekeeping contingent along the line of disengagement with the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, Poroshenko in fact recognised the self-proclaimed entities because according to UN standards, peacekeepers can be moved in on the condition of consent from both conflicting parties. Likewise absurd is the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council’s idea of deploying a UN contingent along the border between Russia and Ukraine. Such a measure might be possible on the condition of a request from both countries. Russia and Ukraine are not at war. Kiev has not severed diplomatic relations with Moscow. Why should there be a UN police cordon on the border? The Minsk Accords of February 12 contain a special item on placing OSCE posts at the Russia-Ukraine border. That’s quite enough. Kiev should start acting on the existing agreements instead of keeping them on the back burner."

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