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Saturday, March 17, 2018

UN peacekeepers in the Donbas: why do they need Russia

The envoy of Russia at the Minsk talks on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass Boris Gryzlov said that the self-proclaimed DNR and LNR have agreed with the Russian vision of the presence of UN peacekeepers in the region. The politician stressed that in addition to the diversion of weapons from the front line in Kiev also needs to give the Donetsk and Lugansk special status, which is recorded in the Minsk agreements. Is it possible, “MK” has found out from the experts.

photo: ru.wikipedia.org

As you know, the Ukrainian authorities repeatedly stated that the deployment of the peacekeeping contingent on the frontline will lead to the fact that Donetsk and Lugansk will become part of Russia. As previously told the interlocutors “MK”, the risk really is, but in this case, Moscow is trying to find a way to stop the bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine, and not to divide the country.

In this regard, Russia may want to insure against possible collapse of a neighboring state, which also itself is not very keen to preserve its territorial integrity, if you think about the permanent closure of one third of Donbass and periodic calls for a massacre of its inhabitants. Together with political scientists, “MK” decided to find out how is probably.

According to the Director of the Institute for peace initiatives and conflict Denis DENISOV, on the unification of Ukraine through the introduction of peacekeepers was little hope, rather they allow the DNI and the LC to restore peaceful life and go to a new level of negotiations with Kiev:

– The paragraph on the necessity of introducing a special status for the Donetsk and Lugansk before in the region will be the peacemakers, was introduced because he is in the Minsk agreements and in General were to come into force in autumn 2015. As we know, instead, Kiev is trying to adopt a law on occupied territories, due to which the residents of the DNI and LC will be completely powerless from the standpoint of Ukraine, which will shift all the responsibility for their fate to Russia. First and foremost, the Kremlin expects Kyiv will still to fulfill the political part of Minsk agreements. Russia wants in the DNI and LC was at peace, and they were able either to develop or to move to another talks with Ukraine…

– If now Kiev will take their weapons from the contact line, give the Donetsk and Lugansk special status, and then in the region will be the peacemakers, not whether it is the implementation of the Minsk agreements? The “blue helmets” will not slide down the negotiation process back in the war, and items such as Amnesty or elections will be able to be resolved through political dialogue in Ukraine.

– It probably will, but this is unlikely. Our problem is that there are a lot of factors and the slightest hesitation, the whole picture of events can change in 15 minutes. At the same time, I believe that the introduction of peacekeepers in this format is possible, but this requires the consent of the United States.

In turn, the Director of the Foundation of progressive politics, Oleg BONDARENKO believes that the granting of Donetsk and Lugansk special status would not mean the end of the confrontation in the Donbass:

“The Minsk agreement will be met after divorce weapons, Amnesty, hold political reform will create the electoral law for Donetsk and Luhansk will hold their local elections, and then Kiev will get control of areas in the Russian-Ukrainian border, which now passes through the territory of the DNI and LC. The introduction of peacekeepers can help the implementation of the Minsk agreements, at least, there will be a separation of troops in the Donbass, to show the place where you can get the “blue helmets”. With the introduction of peacekeepers military conflict will be stopped, and then it will be necessary to agree on Amnesty, elections and so on. This will be the beginning of the active phase of implementation of the Minsk agreements. Finally they will be performed only when Ukraine actually will turn into a Federal state”

Meanwhile, a member of the public Council under the MFA of Ukraine Andrew BUZAROV believes that the Russian initiative on the deployment of peacekeepers on the contact line can not in principle to be implemented:

“The initiative on the introduction of peacekeepers in Donbass was initially impossible because there are two fundamental differences between Kiev and Moscow. First, Ukraine will never accept the deployment of blue helmets on the demarcation line, while for Russia, principally it is a place, not on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Second, Moscow the initiative involves the communication of official Kiev with representatives of DNR and LC. This will never be the same, since otherwise it would mean that the Ukrainian ruling elite has recognized the independence of the breakaway republics. Most likely Putin’s initiative was not coordinated with the United States and other members of the UN security Council. It is unlikely that they will respond positively to the idea of peacekeepers in this format, as it can lead to an international scandal.

In addition, Ukraine was delivered obviously an impossible requirement on the delegation to Donetsk and Luhansk a special status. The majority of deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, and Ukrainian society as a whole, will never agree to that, even despite the fact that the corresponding point is stated in the Minsk agreements. By the way, and the peacekeeping mission, whose whatever it was, is also not stipulated in the Minsk agreements. Thus, the need to develop new instruments, either look the other way.

In my opinion, Putin has decided to raise the issue of peacekeepers in Donbas only in order to achieve some of their political goals. In particular, he needed to maintain his image of peacemaker. However, in the near future Poroshenko will speak at the UN General Assembly to present his concept of the UN sending peacekeepers to the Donbass. It will probably be completely different from Russian.

But I don’t think security Council members will support one of these projects. For example, on the side of Moscow may come to China, but France, Germany, great Britain and the United States will certainly be against. They can to support Kiev, but then his veto will put Russia and with the support of China. No unity can not be achieved now or in the foreseeable future”


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