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Kremlin comments on initiative to deploy UN peacekeepers to Donbass

The Russian president previously backed deploying UN peacekeeping mission to Donbass
Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov  Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, September 5. /TASS/. There is no certainty as of yet about a possible UN peacekeeping mission to Donbass, Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"As of now, there are no modalities of such peacekeeping forces. This initiative has not yet been either discussed, or worded, or shaped, or even agreed," he told journalists when asked whether Russia would agree to refrain from taking part in such mission.

"Moscow has never opposed this idea, it has always objected against discussing this issue ignoring any party to the conflict," he told journalists. "It is a way to nowhere."

"No, no one has any idea," Peskov said when asked about possible composition of such mission and Russia’s possible participation.

"The thing is that this topic has been raised for a long time but no one has any clarity about it," he said. "Putin has never objected against sending peacekeepers but he has always stressed it could be possible only after the disengagement of the parties and only upon mutual consent of the parties to that conflict."

"As you know, the unrecognized republics of LPR and DPR (Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics) are a party to the conflict, hence, it is impossible to deploy any peacekeepers without contacting them, without agreeing the modality with them," the Kremlin spokesman noted. "This is what Russian President Putin has been saying."

The Kremlin spokesman reminded that the idea of sending peacekeepers to southeastern Ukraine had previously been voiced by both German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, and others. "The idea has been floating for long but this is not the matter be that easily settled and what is most important, it cannot be settled without contacts with either of the parties," Peskov stressed.

When asked why Putin has said nothing about control over the Ukrainian-Russian border, the Kremlin spokesman reminded that this subject is regulated by the Minsk agreements. "There is no point in discussing it. It’s better to read more closely the text [of the Minsk-2 package] that was signed by the parties," he stressed.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia plans to submit to the United Nations Security Council a resolution on the deployment of UN peacekeepers along the line of engagement in Donbass to ensure safety 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.