Between Kyiv and Moscow: Volker’s negotiations with Ukrainian authorities

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

After a visit to Kyiv, Kurt Volker leaves for Moscow, apparently, to inform on the results of the negotiations with the Ukrainian side
16:49, 31 October 2017

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112 Agency

American diplomat arrived in Ukraine’s capital on the evening of October 27. On the same day, he held a meeting with Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. As noted in the press service of the legislature, during the meeting with the head of the parliament, "the possibility of the use of the UN peacekeeping contingent" was discussed. As the People's Deputy of the People's Front faction Andriy Teteruk wrote, a resolution on the peacekeeping contingent can be prepared this year. Sources of in the Presidential Administration note that it is impossible to adopt resolutions on the introduction of peacekeepers earlier in May 2018 "in connection with the presidential elections in Russia" that will be held on March 17, 2018. Taking into account the terms of the deployment, the "blue helmets", if adopted by the UN Security Council resolution, may appear in Donbas in 2019. The interlocutors note that the AP does not want to force this process.

Related: Russia calls Volker’s statement on peacekeepers an attempt to jeopardize Minsk agreements

However, while "peacekeeping compromise is not observed" on the horizon. The Russian side insists that peacekeepers should be guards at the OSCE mission. In turn, the diplomats of our country, apparently having secured the support of the United States, believe that the peacekeeping contingent must stand on the whole line of contact. So far, the parties continue to seek peacemaking compromise. One of the options is gradual expansion of the mandate of peacekeepers and its completion after local elections in the temporarily occupied territories.

According to sources in the presidential administration, Kurt Volker actually made it clear that Donbas has the chance to become “second Transnistria.” Peaceful territory, but not recognized.

Our sources also note that during a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the American diplomat insisted that the law on a special order of local self-government in certain regions of Donbas should operate indefinitely. This idea does not cause admiration from members of the parliamentary coalition. Volker himself assured that the law will act "after Russia returns the territory."

Related: Volker suggests there will be UN resolution on Donbas peacekeepers by the end of the year

Ukrainian side has not yet received guarantees of regaining control over the temporarily occupied part of Donbas in the case of fulfilling the political part of Minsk, although Russia continues to insist that the return of control over the border will occur only after the implementation of the political part of the Minsk agreements.

Putin said during a speech at the Valdai Forum that the Russian Federation was not going to transfer control over the border to Ukraine until political issues are resolved (holding elections, introducing a special order of local self-government in the temporarily occupied part of Donbas).

However, while the status quo remains in Donbas, shuttle diplomacy continues. After a visit to Kyiv, Kurt Volker leaves for Moscow, apparently to inform, among other things, on the results of the negotiations with the Ukrainian authorities.

Related: Shuttle diplomacy: What to expect from a meeting between Volker and Poroshenko

According to Russian media, Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker will hold another round of talks in the first half of November. It will take place in a neutral territory. It is noted that the need for an early meeting arose after Kurt Volker made an unscheduled visit to Ukraine on October 27.

Related: Ukrainian MPs discuss a number of issues with Volker, - Hopko

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