The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes note of the statement of the President of the Russian Federation on the possibility of deploying UN peacekeepers in Donbas, as published in the media. We are of the view that deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation can contribute to restoring peace and security in the east of Ukraine. It should also be noted in this connection that back in March 2015 President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko formally addressed the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN Security Council with a request to deploy in the territory of the country a peacekeeping operation under the UN auspices. This letter was circulated on 2 April 2015 as a UN Security Council document. Prior to that, the initiative of the President of Ukraine had been supported by the National Security and Defence Council and Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine.
The objective of such an operation would be to guarantee lasting peace in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements and in line with the fundamental principles and norms of the UN Charter, in parallel with enhancing OSCE SMM capacities.
Russia, the aggressor state, has since endeavoured to sabotage Ukraine’s proposals and refused to consider our request by the UN Security Council; it even claimed, as was the case in June 2016, that Ukraine had never addressed such a request to the Security Council.
Ukraine’s stance in this regard has always been clear: any international peacekeeping presence should be deployed upon agreement of and after exhaustive consultations with the Ukrainian side, provide for removal of all occupation forces and mercenaries as well as their weaponry from the territory of Ukraine and ensure reliable control over the Ukrainian-Russian border in order to prevent Russian military, arms, equipment and mercenaries from getting into the territory of Ukraine. In case a decision is taken to deploy a peacekeeping operation (PKO), any presence of military or other personnel of the aggressor state in the territory of Ukraine under the guise of peacekeepers should be ruled out, as it is inconsistent with basic principles of UN peacekeeping. Similarly out of question is getting an agreement to deploying a PKO from illegal armed groups in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine who are supported, financed and equipped by the Russian Federation.
The statement of the President of the Russian Federation, as published in the mass media, is another evidence of the efforts of Russia as a party to the conflict to present the aggression as an internal Ukrainian conflict and to distort the very idea and purposes of such a peacekeeping operation – this will not serve its main objective to establish lasting peace in Donbas and restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
At the same time, Ukraine continues to consistently support the initiative to deploy a UN peacekeeping operation in Donbas and is ready for further work on this issue. In this connection, the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations has been tasked to conduct consultations with the members of the UN Security Council.
It is also our position that consistent adherence by the Russian side to the regime of lasting and complete ceasefire, as agreed at the end of August in connection with the start of the school year, should create a favourable precondition for starting dialogue on deploying a peacekeeping operation in Donbas.