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US drops off demand for immediate transition of Donbass under UN mission control

January 29, 2018, 23:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

America has accepted Russia’s concept that presupposes synchronization of a step-by-step accomplishing of security tasks and politics in Donbass, Chesnakov said

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Alexei Chesnakov

Alexei Chesnakov

© Andrey Makhonin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Analysis of statements by the Russian President’s aide, Vladislav Surkov, and the special envoy of the U.S. Department of State for Ukraine, Kurt Volker shows the U.S. has dropped off its stringent demand for an immediate transition of Donbass under the control of the UN mission, Dr. Alexei Chesnakov, the director of the Center for Current Political Situation Assessment told TASS on Monday.

He mentioned that Volker followed Surkov in giving his owned assessment to the talks the two men had had in Dubai.

"Analysis of what the two high-rank officials have said shows the main thing, namely, that the U.S. has backtracked on its recent position, which required an immediate transition of Donbass under the control of a UN mission with unlimited powers inclusive of the right to use force and to disarm the fighters of self-defense units [of the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk republics - TASS]," Dr. Chesnakov said.

"But after bumping into Russia’s principled stance, the U.S. backed down on its demands," he said.

"Now they don’t demand a blocking of the Ukrainian-Russian border by the international contingent as a top priority measure and they are prepared to begin with the Line of Contact [separating the pro-Kiev armed units and the Donbass self-defense forces - TASS], and this is what Russia proposed in its draft resolution of the UN Security Council," Dr. Chesnakov said.

"The Americans now clearly see an expansion of the zone of UN presence as a process that will unfold stage by stage as long as Ukraine fulfills the political package of the Minsk accords," he said.

"America has, in practical terms, accepted Russia’s concept that presupposes synchronization of a step-by-step accomplishing of security tasks and politics in Donbass," Dr. Chesnakov said. "Volker says openly Ukraine can think of control over the border only after it puts the special status of Donbass into practice and amnesties all the fighters of self-defense units."

"He definitely has to round these points off so that they wouldn’t embarrass Ukraine but this doesn’t change the sense of the whole situation," the expert said.

"On the face of the situation as it is, the proposals the U.S. made public in Dubai - and Surkov called them the Dubai package - contradict Kiev’s diehard rhetoric and the approach the Americans themselves promulgated previously," Dr. Chesnakov said. "That’s an encouraging signal that testifies to Washington’s flexibility and true interest in resolving the problem."

Along with it, he said one could see from Surkov’s comments he praised the efforts of his American counterpart and he would try to offer a constructive response.

"The fact Volker continues passing strongly-worded notes on Russia’s policies is easy to explain, Dr. Chesnakov believes. "This stems from the requirements of the domestic political situation in the U.S. itself and in Ukraine, a country under its patronage. His remarks don’t hinder the talks with Russia.".

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