VIENNA, September 5. /TASS/. Neither the Austrian Chairmanship in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) nor the OSCE Secretariat are aware of the specific proposals to deploy a UN peacekeeping mission to Ukraine but believe that this decision should be coordinated with the UN Security Council, an OSCE spokesman told TASS on Tuesday.
"Both the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE Secretariat are unaware of a concrete proposal concerning a UN peacekeeping operation in Ukraine, although the suggestion has been made in the past. Such an operation would have to be agreed by the UN Security Council," the spokesman said.
According to the Austrian Chairmanship, "any decision should fully respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine as recognized in relevant UN resolutions."
The Austrian Chairmanship also stressed the importance of ensuring the security of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and welcomed any initiatives on settling the Ukrainian crisis.
"Both the Austrian Chairmanship and the OSCE Secretariat welcome any efforts designed to bring durable peace and security to the crisis in and around Ukraine that enjoy the support of the parties. In this context, the Normandy Format plays a central role in addressing the crisis in and around Ukraine and the Trilateral Contact Group is the main negotiating platform for advancing a peaceful resolution of the conflict," the spokesman said.
"The security situation in eastern Ukraine would be significantly improved if the parties lived up to their commitments under the Minsk Agreements. It is vital to ensure the security, safety and unimpeded access of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission throughout the entire territory of Ukraine as stipulated in the mandate of the mission," he said.
Since early 2017, the OSCE monitors have often come under attacks in Donbass. The OSCE leadership has repeatedly called on the parties to the conflict to stop intimidating the monitors and contribute to their security by clearing the territories of mines. However, there was no success and in April one monitor was killed when the organization’s car hit a mine.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would submit a resolution to the UN Security Council on the deployment of UN peacekeepers along the demarcation line in Donbass to ensure security of the OSCE mission. He stressed however that deployment of UN peacekeepers could only be possible after weapons withdrawal from the area and upon agreement with the self-proclaimed Donbass republics. According to the Russian leader, the deployment of UN forces tasked to ensure the OSCE mission’s security will help solve the problem in southeastern Ukraine.