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Poroshenko against Russian participation in possible peacekeeping mission in Ukraine

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has spoken against Russian participation in possible peacekeeping operation in Ukraine.

"I would like to note that Russia, as an aggressor, cannot and will not participate in this operation," Poroshenko said before a meeting with European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.

"We will not agree to such a format of a peacekeeping mission that allows legalizing multi-thousand Russian contingent," he added.

On Wednesday, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko suggested the National Security and Defense Council consider a possibility of deploying an international peacekeeping force to Ukraine. "We've scrutinized the issue and we think a police mission from the European Union would be the best option. I'm sure it will be the best guarantor of peace here.," he said.

Later in the day, Oleksandr Turchynov, the National Security and Defense Council's secretary, said the Council had approved Poroshenko's initiative. "It was decided to ask the United Nations and the European Union to stage a peacekeeping operation in Ukraine," the Ukrainskaya Pravda quoted him as saying.

He said peacekeepers were to be deployed not only along the line of engagement in the conflict zone but also along the section of Ukraine's border with Russia that was not controlled by the Kiev authorities.

Deploying peacekeepers in Donbas would violate Minsk agreements

Russia's Permanent Representative at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin on Thursday criticized the plans.

"The Minsk agreements have just been reached. In line with these agreements, the Donetsk and Luhansk republics can set up their own militias and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is tasked to monitor the zone of disengagement," he said.

"It is vital to pull out weapons but not to indulge in advancing new initiatives. And when they are proposing new schemes instead of implementing what has been agreed, it gives ground to suspect that they seek to frustrate the Minsk agreements," the Russian diplomat underscored.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) also considers the possible deployment of peacekeepers at the Russian-Ukrainian border in Donbas an attempt to violate the Minsk agreements, says DPR envoy to Contact Group Denis Pushilin.

"The appeal of the Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council to UN calling for deployment of peacekeepers at the Russian-Ukrainian border in Donbas is a breach of the package of February 12 measures obliging Ukraine to negotiate border issues with self-defense forces," the Donetsk News Agency quoted Pushilin as saying. "This will happen after municipal election and constitutional reform," he added.

Pushlin called on Moscow, Berlin and Paris to influence Kiev to return to the path of peaceful settlement. "DPR and LPR [self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic] ask Russia, Germany and France, as guarantors of implementing the package of measures of Minsk agreements, to take immediate measures and bring Kiev back to the path of a peaceful settlement of the conflict," he stressed. DPR and LPR authorities will send respective requests to the leaders of Russia, Germany and France.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 19Feb15]

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Ukraine Unrest
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