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Amendments to law on foreign troops in Ukraine are Kiev’s provocation - analysts

June 05, 2015, 19:36 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
US and Ukrainian soldiers taking part in joint military exercises near the western Ukrainian city of Lviv

US and Ukrainian soldiers taking part in joint military exercises near the western Ukrainian city of Lviv


MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. The law the Ukrainian parliament adopted on Thursday to permit the authorities to invite foreign troops for international peacekeeping operations is a prelude to disrupting the Minsk Accords, polled experts have told TASS.

The legal act’s adoption immediately followed the resumption of hostilities in Donbas. Among other things the laws stipulates that foreign troops may be allowed into Ukraine for providing assistance in the form of a peace-keeping and security operation on the basis of a decision by the United Nations and/or the European Union. Also, the law prohibits "countries that have started armed aggression against Ukraine" from taking part in such operations. Earlier, Kiev addressed the EU Council with a corresponding request. The UN Secretary-General said on April 21 that hypothetical deployment of a peace-keeping mission in Donbass would depend on a resolution by the UN Security Council.

Russia’s State Duma members argue that the Ukrainian parliament’s act contradicts the Minsk Accords.

"The Minsk Accords did not envisage peacekeepers’ participation in dealing with the intra-Ukrainian conflict. The law can merely provoke growth in the number of foreign mercenaries on the payroll of the Kiev regime, hired for the suppression of militias’ resistance and a further escalation of the conflict," the chairman of the State Duma’s CIS affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, told TASS.

"Our high-principled position is the presence of so-called foreign peacekeeping forces in Donbass splits the country still further, which runs counter to the Minsk Accords," a member of the State Duma’s defence committee, Frants Klintsevich said.

The president of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, believes that the Ukrainian parliament’s law allowing foreign troops into the conflict zone in Ukraine is Kiev’s clear hint it is about to sever the February 12 Minsk Accords, concluded by the Normandy Quartet - the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine.

"The resumption of hostilities in Donbas - the worst over the past four months - indicates that Kiev’s stake is not on political talks with the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, but on suppressing them by force. In that sense the Ukrainian parliament’s just-passed law is a prelude to an "After Minsk" scenario, to what will follow the disruption of the Minsk Accords. Kiev hopes that when the "hot phase" of the conflict is over and Donetsk and Lugansk have been suppressed, foreign troops would help Kiev maintain the achieved state of affairs," the president of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov told TASS.

The director of the Military-Political Studies Institute, Aleksandr Khramchikhin, believes the Ukrainian parliament adopted the law permitting the invitation of foreign troops into the conflict zone in the southeast of Ukraine with a clear aim to go ahead with the crackdown. "A war comes to an end when one party or both parties are unable to go on fighting. For the time being both participants in the conflict have demonstrated their readiness to continue combat operations," Khramchikhin told TASS.

"The Verkhovna Rada has now lent juridical shape to what Kiev had until just recently expressed in its declarations addressed to the Council of Europe. But a decision to dispatch an international peace-keeping contingent does not depend on Ukraine, because the European Union will not dare act without a UN Security Council mandate. Should a draft of such a resolution be submitted to the Security Council, Russia will block it," Khramchikhin believes.

And the head of the International Security Centre under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Aleksey Arbatov, has described the Ukrainian parliament’s adoption of a law permitting the presence of foreign troops in the conflict zone as a provocation.

"The very instance such a legal act has been voted for means very little, because neither the European Union nor NATO will agree to bear such responsibility. It is not accidental the law’s adoption was timed for the flare-up of hostilities in Donbass, which Kiev has already blamed on Moscow. This law is tantamount to a request addressed to the United States and the European Union they should step up pressures on Russia, which they accuse of involvement in the intra-Ukrainian conflict. The law is a provocation of the first water.

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