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Rationality of peacekeepers deployment in Ukraine to be discussed in Normandy format

February 24, 2015, 3:09 updated at: February 24, 2015, 5:16 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
"I’ll discuss the possibility and rationality of deploying this contingent in Donbass," said Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin
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UNITED NATIONS, February 24. /TASS/. Ukrainian government plans to raise the issue of a "possibility and rationality" of deployment of a UN or EU peacekeepers’ contingent in the zone of conflict in the south-eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions will be one of the issues on the agenda of a ministerial conference in the ‘Normandy format’ in Paris on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on Monday.

"I’ll discuss the possibility and rationality of deploying this contingent in Donbass," he said.

The problem will be viewed in the context of "supplementary elements of stabilization" and mechanisms presupposed by the Minsk accords on ending the armed civil conflict in southeastern Ukraine.

"I’ll discuss these issues actively," Klimkin said.

He did not rule out a possibility of considering the deployment of peacekeepers in the format of the Contact Group for settling the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, which includes representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics.

"Quite naturally, the problem will be scrutinized in various formats, and we’ll see what formats these will be," he said.

This process has very many constituent elements. "It requires detailed scrutiny as regards preparation of the mandate and further actions," Klimkin said.

Tuesday’s meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine will be the first one since February 12 when leaders of the four countries had a marathon overnight summit in Minsk. The decisions taken there included ceasefire, the pullback of heavy armaments, and a constitutional reform that would take account of legitimate rights of the Donbass population.

Klimkin said he began preliminary discussions on the deployment of peacekeepers with some members of the UN Security Council on Monday.

"We began preliminary discussions so as to understand the possible options, on the basis of which we could possibly move further," he said. "On the whole, there is clear support for the idea that we need a supplementary factor to help stabilization. Everyone realizes that the OSCE mission is working efficiently but it doesn’t have enough capability to control everything."

Klimkin said it did not matter in the final run which contingent - the one provided by the UN or by the EU - would eventually be unfolded in the southeast of the country.

"These can be either peacekeepers or a police mission," he said. "The main thing is the result, an efficient ceasefire."

Earlier on Monday, Klimkin told a session of the UN Security Council he hoped for an approval of a query for placement of the international forces Kiev was drafting. He claimed this initiative was not intended to substitute for the Minsk agreements.

"On the contrary, we consider this operation as an irreplaceable instrument that will eventually help fulfill these agreements," he said. "We hope UN member-states and the Security Council in the first place will support this request for assistance."

British Ambassador to the UN Michael Lyall Grant told TASS the Security Council was not holding any discussions the prospects for sending peacekeepers to Ukraine at the moment.

He said Klimkin had been discussing the problem in a bilateral format with diplomats from a number of countries including him. In this connection, Grant proposed to see how the issue would develop in the coming few days.

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