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Russian expert suggests Kiev needs to begin direct talks with Donbass

The question of sending an armed OSCE mission to Donbass is premature at the moment, the analyst stressed

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. It’s time Kiev started direct talks with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR, LPR) and the parties discussed the implementation of the Minsk accords as equals, head of the Russian Center for Current Politics Alexey Chesnakov said at a round-table conference hosted by TASS.

"I assume that the process of the implementation of the Minsk agreements is coming to a point where the parties should sit down at the negotiation table face to face. Ukraine should consider the republics as equals not as enemies, and try to come to terms," he explained.

According to Chesnakov, Kiev should begin direct talks with Donbass. "The sooner Ukraine realizes it, the greater the opportunity that the Minsk agreements will be implemented," he stressed. 

Armed OSCE mission in Donbass? 

The question of sending an armed mission of the OSCE to Donbass now is premature, because the organization has no documents required for making such a decision, Chesnakov explained. 

"As far as an armed mission is concerned, I believe that it is too early to talk about that," Chesnakov said at a round-table discussion at TASS, devoted to the results of the Normandy Quartet’s Berlin summit and the future of the Minsk process. "The chances the OSCE will be able to promptly form some armed mission look utterly unrealistic. The OSCE just does not have any regulatory documents for establishing such a mission."

When Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko appears in public to declare there is an agreement on such a mission the question arises whom has he agreed it with, Chesnakov noted.

"Accordingly, even if they (the OSCE’s 57 member-states) make a decision in favor of such an armed mission, they will need some documents to rely on. There are no such documents. The OSCE’s regulatory documents contain no mention of the OSCE’s powers to send armed missions. It will be utterly useless to discuss this issue from the political standpoint."

As they considered the possibility of deploying an armed mission in Donbass, the negotiators did not rule out this option.

"But talking about it now would make no sense, because no decision on the issue has been made. It does not depend on us. It depends on the OSCE first and foremost. It remains to be seen if the organization is prepared for that and how much the operation will cost," Chesnakov said.

Senior research fellow Nikolai Silayev, of the Center for the Problems of the Caucasus and Regional Security at the institute of international relations MGIMO, sees no chance for moving an armed mission to the zone of the conflict in the east of Ukraine right away. For that there must be consent from the parties to the conflict, but the officials of both self-proclaimed republics earlier stated it quite clearly they were against.

"That’s quite enough to have the subject closed," Silayev said.