Comment by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine regarding mass media publication of 5 September 2017 concerning the recent statements by the Russian leadership on the prospect of deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has taken into account the statement made by the President of the Russian Federation concerning the prospect of deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbas as published by mass media. The Ministry believes that the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation could contribute to the restoration of peace and security in the east of Ukraine. In this context, MFA would like to draw attention to the fact that, in March 2015, President of Ukraine
Petro Poroshenko sent an official request to the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN Security Council with regard to the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation in the Ukrainian territory. This request was circulated on
2 April 2015 as an official document of the UN Security Council. The corresponding initiative of the President of Ukraine had been previously supported by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The UN peacekeeping operation of this nature would aim at ensuring lasting peace in certain parts of 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, along with the simultaneous enhancement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.
Since that time Russia, the aggressor state, has continuously sabotaged Ukraine's proposals, refusing to take our request to the UN Security Council into consideration and even claiming, as was the case in June 2016, that Ukraine had never made its request to the Security Council.
Ukraine has always advocated a clear position that any international peacekeeping presence must be deployed by consent of and after extensive consultations with the Ukrainian side, that it must involve the withdrawal of all occupation troops and mercenaries as well as their weapons from the territory of Ukraine, and ensure reliable control over the Ukrainian-Russian border to prevent Russian military, weapons, equipment and mercenaries from infiltrating the Ukrainian territory.
In the event the decision is made to launch a peacekeeping operation, any presence of military or other personnel of the aggressor state in the territory of Ukraine disguised as peacekeepers would be out of the question, as it would contradict the basic principles of UN peacekeeping activities. Equally out of the question would be any need to seek approval for launching the peacekeeping operation by the illegal military formations operating in the territory of certain parts of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions backed by support, funding, and inventory and logistics management provided by the Russian Federation.
The information published by mass media concerning the statement by the President of the Russian Federation shows that Russia, as a party to the conflict, is once again attempting to present its aggression as an internal Ukrainian conflict and distort the very idea and purposes of launching a peacekeeping operation, which would not work towards achieving the principal objective of establishing sustainable peace in Donbas and restoring territorial integrity of Ukraine.
At the same time, as a consistent supporter of the initiative to deploy a UN peacekeeping operation in Donbas, Ukraine is ready to address this matter. In this context, the Permanent Mission of Ukraine in New York has been instructed to hold corresponding consultations with the delegations to the UN Security Council.
We are also convinced that strict compliance by the Russian side with the permanent and complete back-to-school ceasefire declared at the end of August 2017 should create a favourable basis for starting a dialogue with a view to the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas.