MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Possible deployment of a United Nations mission in Ukraine has not been discussed at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as the sides have opposite points of view, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said on Tuesday.
"It would be good to agree a mandate for the so-called United Nations’ protection mission. It is not a peacekeeping mission as it is tasked to protect and ensure operation of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. Our foreign representatives and Ukraine’s envoys have an absolutely different point of view. So, there is nothing to talks about as of now," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.
According to the Russian diplomat, a minor presence of peacekeepers could help enhance "the OSCE monitors’ mobility and possibilities to act not only in the conflict zone." However, in this case the question will be in the mission’s concrete tasks, he noted. Meanwhile, Ukraine sees the presence of peacekeepers as help in "de-occupation of Donbass," which could only aggravate the situation rather than promote settlement. "This topic is not discussed at the OSCE," Lukashevich said, adding a compromise solution was badly needed.
When asked about the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, the Russian diplomat said he thought its mandate should be extended. In his words, although "imperfect," its reports nevertheless show that tensions in the area are growing.
"Despite the imperfection of their reports, they are doing a very useful job. We are definitely for extension of the mandate of this mission as a constraining factor for hotheads. Ukraine’s army refrains from massively using weapons or venturing any big military gambles in the presence of the Special Monitoring Mission," he stressed.
Addressing an annual news conference on December 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow had no objections against international control in Donbass but it should be agreed directly between Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). He recalled that Russia has submitted to the UN Security Council a draft resolution on the deployment of UN forces in Donbass to protect monitors of the OSCE mission.