How the OSCE views Donbass peacekeeping

Deploying a peacekeeping mission to Donbass will help end the conflict’s deadlock, but will not eliminate the need to implement the Minsk deal, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger said in an interview with Kommersant, reports TASS.

According to Greminger, the Minsk agreements are at an impasse, that is why it is necessary to consider sending peacekeepers. The peacekeeping mission might help bring the situation out of its dead-end, but current problems, including the implementation of the Minsk agreements, would be needed to be resolved in any case, he added.

Greminger also noted that Russia and Ukraine have different views on the mandate of a possible mission. At the same time, he said it is obvious that the implementation of the Minsk accords will remain the objective in any case. According to him, if anyone thinks that the peacekeeping operation will alter the need to carry out the Minsk agreements in any way, that would not be the case. Greminger believes it could be possible to work out a concept that would allow the parties to consistently step up the operation regarding the political part of the Minsk agreements, but any decision should be made by the parties directly involved in the peacekeeping talks.

According to the newspaper, Greminger is attending the Seventh International Conference on International Security, organized in Moscow by the Russian Defense Ministry, where he met with a number of high-ranking officials, in particular, conducted a "frank and very substantive conversation" about the situation in Ukraine with Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov. Greminger told Kommersant that he believes Surkov shared his position that all parties involved should make every effort to protect the OSCE special monitoring mission.

In September 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward the idea of placing a UN security mission on the contact line in Donbass to ensure the safety of OSCE observers. Later, he clarified that the mission could be located in other regions of Donbass, where the OSCE operates. Kiev, however, insists on deploying the UN peacekeeping mission throughout the region, even along the border with Russia.

According to TASS

DONi News Agency