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EC President Tusk: Europe unenthusiastic on issue of peacekeepers in Ukraine

April 27, 2015, 2:18 UTC+3 KIEV
Last week Ukraine’s presidential press service reported that President discussed with the UN secretary general a possibility of deploying peacekeepers in the country’s war-torn southeast
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Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council

© EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

KIEV, April 27. /TASS/. The European Union is not enthusiastic at the moment concerning a deployment of a peacekeeping contingent in conflict-hit Ukraine, but is ready to enhance the monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said.

"To be honest, I currently see no enthusiasm in Europe regarding a special peacekeeping mission in Ukraine," Tusk said in an interview with Ukrainian television channel UNN. "But sentiments can of course change."

Last week Ukraine’s presidential press service reported that President Petro Poroshenko discussed with the UN secretary general a possibility of deploying peacekeepers in the country’s war-torn southeast, often referred to as Donbass region.

Former Polish Prime Minister Tusk said that the implementation of Minsk Accords was currently the political priority for Europe.

"I realize that not everyone is satisfied with them [the Minsk Accords], and they are not the best solution for Ukraine, but undoubtedly the most important aim for us is the real possibility for the peace settlement and establishment of truth," Tusk said.

"I do realize why the effective monitoring is important not for Ukraine alone but Europe as well," the Polish politician said. "Europe is ready to enhance the OSCE mission and to make its work more effective."

However, the president of the European Council said that "decisions concerning special peacekeeping missions or groups from Europe are impossible at the moment."

Last Friday Ukraine’s Poroshenko reiterated his call for Europe’s peacekeeping mission deployment in Ukraine’s southeast

"Unarmed team members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are faced with serious problems on the line of contact," Poroshenko said. "There exist only two ways: either to deploy peacekeepers or the EU mission, which will be prepared to shoulder responsibility."

Minsk accords on Ukraine

The Belarusian capital of Minsk hosted on February 12 summit talks of Normandy Four leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The over 16-hour marathon summit negotiations ended in a package of agreements, which in particular envisaged ceasefire between the Ukrainian conflicting sides starting from midnight on February 15.

Prior to the summit talks Minsk also hosted the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine involving Ukraine’s ex-president Leonid Kuchma, Kiev’s special representative for humanitarian issues Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky, and Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and OSCE’s envoy Heidi Tagliavini, who both acted as mediators.

As a result of the meeting, it was announced that an agreement was reached on the ceasefire in certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the heavy weaponry pullout and measures on a long-term political settlement of the crisis.

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