UNITED NATIONS, February 19. /TASS/. Kiev’s plans to ask the United Nations and the European Union to deploy an international peacekeeping force in eastern Ukraine conflict zone give grounds to doubt its commitment to the Minsk agreements, Russia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.
"The Minsk agreements have just been reached. In line with these agreements, the Donetsk and Luhansk republics can set up their own militias and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is tasked to monitor the zone of disengagement," he said.
"It is vital to pull out weapons but not to indulge in advancing new initiatives. And when they are proposing new schemes instead of implementing what has been agreed, it gives ground to suspect that they seek to frustrate the Minsk agreements," the Russian diplomat underscored.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko suggested the National Security and Defense Council consider a possibility of deploying an international peacekeeping force to Ukraine. "We've scrutinized the issue and we think a police mission from the European Union would be the best option. I'm sure it will be the best guarantor of peace here.," he said.
Later in the day, Oleksandr Turchynov, the National Security and Defense Council’s secretary, said the Council had approved Poroshenko’s initiative. "It was decided to ask the United Nations and the European Union to stage a peacekeeping operation in Ukraine," the Ukrainskaya Pravda quoted him as saying.
He said peacekeepers were to be deployed not only along the line of engagement in the conflict zone but also along the section of Ukraine’s border with Russia that was not controlled by the Kiev authorities.
Turchynov said the Ukrainian foreign ministry had already prepared a relevant request. Also, he said he hoped the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) would support this move.