American ex-diplomats warn that peacekeeping missions never solved conflicts, but only frozen them. The Wall Street Journal writes about this.
The newspaper recalls that last week at the Munich security conference, US and NATO officials discussed the issue of placing a peacekeeping mission with Ukrainian and Russian diplomats.
Some US officials in private conversations have voiced a warning that Washington can be trapped by Putin.
"Russia is not interested in the calm situation in Ukraine, the peacekeeping forces may inadvertently consolidate Russian control over the territories in Donbas, and not resolve the conflict," the current and former US officials believe.
At the same time, both supporters and skeptics believe that the US should be cautious in discussing such a scenario.
"The Russian Federation can try to delay or frustrate the process of transferring control over part of the Russian-Ukrainian border to the peacekeeping forces, and the risks can be mitigated if the proposal includes a certain easing of sanctions until the peace is fully restored in Ukraine," allow former US officials.
At the Munich conference, former American diplomats from democratic and republican administrations questioned the current discussions on this issue.
Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul recalled the example of Cyprus, where peacekeepers were deployed in 1864.
"These forces are still there, and the conclusion of a peace agreement that would unite the northern part of the island occupied by Turkey with the rest of the country remains vague. Explain what the factors differ in this particular case, so that this does not lead to a scenario like a permanent separation, like in Cyprus ? "said McFaul to Volker, who was present in Munich.
The US ambassador to the United Nations during the time of the George W. Bush administration, John Bolton, said that the peacekeeping missions of an international organization usually freeze the division rather than solve it.
"Very rarely, the deployment of peacekeepers does something different, except to fix the presence of these forces forever," he stressed.
Volker, who talks with Moscow about sending the mission, explained that such a plan will work only if Russians and Ukrainians want peace.
In addition, this, in his opinion, is the best chance to implement the Minsk agreements.
"The best thing we can do to protect people and create peace is to get the UN mandate for peacekeeping forces that will effectively stop the conflict," Volker said.
Ukrainian officials in Munich told to the newspaper that they do not doubt the American plan, but do not believe that Russia will agree with it.