MOSCOW, Nov 4 — RIA Novosti. The U.S. special envoy for Ukraine with Kurt Volker told the date of a new meeting with the assistant to the Russian President Vladislav Surkov — the talks will be held on November 13 in Belgrade.
According to American diplomat, the meeting will discuss the format of the UN peacekeeping mission in the conflict zone in the Donbass. As noted by Walker, he looks forward to a detailed conversation on this issue.
“We are trying to see whether it is possible to create the conditions for a UN peacekeeping mission to control the territory in Eastern Ukraine. This will restore trust on both sides, and it will create the opportunity for Ukraine to advance the implementation of the Minsk agreements, in particular in the elections, which they now can not do” — says the representative of the state Department.
He added that the last five times I visited Kiev and met with Surkov. “He’s very smart, a serious negotiator. We’ll see if we can make progress,” said Walker.
According to him, after his first meeting with Stern, he was “interesting to see that Russia went to the UN and suggested that the placement of forces in the East of Ukraine.”
He explained that the Russian offer was only lines of conflict and only in order to protect the OSCE observers. “But, of course, that’s always been the Russian position. It’s not a surprise. But it is interesting that they went to the UN and, in principle, offer something. This is an interesting initiative from Russia. And we were having a discussion about this with Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia. And we’d like to see whether we can develop further this initiative,” — said Walker.
In his opinion, to the peacekeeping mission to be effective, the necessary control over the conflict zone in the Donbass — “observations on the movement of heavy weapons and for control of the Ukrainian side on the border of Russia and Ukraine.”
If this happens, then, according to Volcker, “will not have to worry about the security of Russian-speaking people or anyone else”.
“And this will be the way forward in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. This is what we study. We have not yet reached agreement on this. We still have to figure that out,” concluded the American special envoy.
Earlier the President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that he supports the idea to send to Ukraine peacekeeping forces of the UN. However, according to him, their priority must be the security of OSCE personnel, and be located the “blue helmets” should be exclusively on the line of contact. In the Kremlin said that Russia’s position in this matter is flexible.
Kiev insists that the peacekeepers should have a broader mandate and be located in the entire territory of Donbas up to the border with Russia.
Dissuaded from resolution
Walker also said that Ukraine was ready to submit to the UN Security Council’s own resolution on the peacekeepers, but the U.S. side advised not to do it, and try to reach agreement in the framework of the Russian initiative.
“We discussed this with the Ukraine and said, “Let’s not put forward a competing resolution, let’s try to start a discussion about the principles: what to do for an effective peacekeeping mission.” And see if we can reach an agreement. This is where we are now”, — he explained.
According to him, discussions are under way on “principles and elements” of the UN mission. “And if we can agree — it will be the best option for moving forward,” said Walker.
The solution to the conflict
Reporters asked state Department special envoy, it is possible to trust Russia in the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict. To this Walker replied that it is not “about trust or mistrust,” and whether the parties to negotiate.
“I believe that Russia is seriously exploring options. This does not mean that they committed; it does not mean that they made the decision,” — said the diplomat.
In his opinion, Russia may freeze the conflict, but in Moscow you know what the costs will be very high.
“This will continue to cement even more United, more oriented to the West Ukraine. This will keep the sanctions in force. Is the cost of a military operation. There is a question of reputation for Russia. So there are many “costs” that Russia has. And I think they know about it. They know that this option is not very good, but the option, and they can do it,” — says Walker.
He added that if Russia wants to resolve the conflict, then “there is a way” — including the peacekeeping mission.
“And we’ll be happy to help. We want resolution. It is the position of U.S. Secretary of state. And I believe we can reach agreement on this issue with Russia. If we can take the right steps, it is possible,” concluded Walker.
As for the current situation in the Donbas, where, according to state Department special envoy, continues active conflict.
“About ten thousand people were killed, more than two million displaced persons. There are numerous violations of the transformation of fire,” he told reporters.
However, he expressed willingness to visit Donetsk and Lugansk, where there will be restored “peace and security”.
In the Donbass to Ukraine’s plans and US peacekeepers are extremely skeptical — Kiev has repeatedly stated that he will not discuss this topic with Donetsk and Lugansk, and the authorities of the breakaway republics also repeatedly stressed that the decision on the introduction of peacekeeping missions can not be accepted.
Praised the army, but promised weapons
The special representative of state Department noted that the Ukrainian Armed forces are “in very good shape”, they managed to recover after 2014. He stressed the need to focus on the initiative of deployment of peacekeepers in the Donbass.
Reporters asked Walker if there was a decision on the supply of Kiev weapons. This diplomat said that “there is nothing new in this regard”.
Earlier the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that the us Senate has approved the allocation of Kiev $ 500 million to support security and defence, and that this bill supposedly provides for the supply of “lethal weapons of a defensive nature”. Official confirmation from the American administration was not followed, and Poroshenko himself later said that it was about weapons purely defensive in nature, in particular on electronic warfare.
The implementation of the Minsk agreements