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Kiev once more eyes possibility of UN mission deployment in Donbass

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko said that the presidential team "has certain plans"
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko
© REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

KIEV, December 14. /TASS/. Kiev could return to the idea of a UN contingent deployment to the areas in Donbass that are out of Ukraine’s control in case Ukraine’s leadership admits that the conflict fails to yield any result based on the Minsk accords, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko said on Saturday.

"Once we realize that it is impossible any longer to speak within the framework of the Minsk [peace deal] and that Russia digs its heels in over each item, then we will probably opt for another step. It will not be a decision of mine, but of the president’s, but perhaps, I will recommend a peacekeeping mission," the foreign minister said on Ukraine’s television, adding that the presidential team "has certain plans."

In September 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward a proposal to deploy a United Nations mission along the contact line in Donbass to ensure safety and security of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM). He stressed that such a mission could be deployed only with consent from the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Later, he said the mission could be deployed in other Donbass regions visited by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. Kiev insists a UN peacekeeping mission be deployed to entire Donbass, including the border section with Russia. Moreover, it should be tasked with disarming the republics’ forces and establishing an interim administration, rather than just protecting the OSCE mission.

After the Paris summit of Normandy Four, Zelensky said he wanted the Minsk accords to be amended, adding it would be a very complicated but necessary procedure.

In the meantime, Kiev’s counterparts, who seek to resolve the intra-Ukrainian conflict, view the agreement as a non-alternative foundation for the peace process. Besides, the Minsk accords were backed in a United Nations resolution. However, the Ukrainian president earlier said that he would "be pleased if peacekeepers were on the Ukrainian-Russian border."

Normandy Four summit

The latest Normandy Four summit was held in Paris on December 9, for the first time after a three-year break. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Emmanuel Macron of Germany, Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gathered in the Elysee Palace to discuss ways of settling the conflict in Donbass.