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Few days ago, Ukraine’s Minister Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin stated the draft of the Ukrainian resolution on the introduction of peacekeepers has been prepared. He explained that Ukraine has presented in detail to UN Security Council and its partners the vision of the UN mission deployment, however, the document has not been submitted officially.
"Any official projects will be submitted after we discuss them with all friends and partners, otherwise there is a risk that Russia will try to use this situation to weaken the mandate of the future mission or to negotiate with different partners separately," the minister assumed.
Main points of the Ukrainian resolution
It is expected that President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will disclose the content of the document at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. Back in August, the head of state said that Ukrainian initiative will be presented at UN General Assembly session.
So, according to the recent words of the president and other high-ranking officials, the document might contain such items:
- The UN peacekeeping mission in Donbass should be a full-fledged operation, not exclusively for the purpose of protecting the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, as the Russian Federation wishes. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the mandate of the peacekeeping mission should include a full cycle of withdrawal of Russian regular troops, mercenaries and weapons.
- "Blue helmets" will have the right to use weapons if necessary (and not only for self-defense).
- Peacekeepers should be deployed throughout the occupied part of Donbas, including the uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian state border.
- Participation of Russian representatives in the work of the UN mission in the east of the country is excluded.
- Financing of the mission will come from the UN peacekeeping budget.
In addition, Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN, Volodymyr Yelchenko, said that in the final draft resolution, the principal point would be withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied part of Donbas before to the deployment of the mission.
President Poroshenko also voiced that Ukraine would not coordinate with the militants any of the functions of the future UN mission. He has noted that the possibility of introducing peacekeepers should not become a basis for the abolition of existing international sanctions against Russia.
Yelchenko has also added that probably, work on the basis of the Russian project will be continued. "This does not mean that everything would remain as they wish," said the Permanent Representative, recalling that Russia have been repeatedly signaling that it would block the Ukrainian initiative.
What does Russian initiative include?
President Vladimir Putin first talked about the Russian idea of peacekeepers in Donbas after his visit to China and the BRICS summit in early September. He said that the UN mission would help "in solving the problem in the southeast of Ukraine."
On the same day, September 5, Russia sent its draft resolution to the Chairman of the UN Security Council, Tekeda Alemu, and Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres. Then, Putin has called his conditions, namely, that it would be UN mission (instead of peacekeepers project) that would ensure the security of the OSCE mission. Secondly, the UN mission should be located only on the line of demarcation and in no other territories. Putin also called one of the conditions that this issue cannot be resolved without direct contact with representatives of the so-called "Donetsk/Luhansk People’s Republics."
Referring to the Russian draft resolution, the media wrote that Moscow proposed to create a UN mission, armed with small arms, to protect OSCE monitors in Donbas for an initial period of six months after the withdrawal of troops and military equipment from the contact line.
After a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Putin said that Russia was ready to supplement the functions of the UN mission proposed in its draft resolution by the Security Council, in fact, he agreed to deploy UN forces outside the contact line.
As Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya stated, Ukraine and the United States now have substantial comments on the text of the draft resolution on the deployment of the UN security mission in Donbas, and it is impossible to discuss them in the next week.
Poroshenko intends to present the Ukrainian position on peacekeepers at the Security Council summit on September 20.