Belarus ready to send peacekeepers to Donbas – FM


Belarus is ready to send a peacekeeping contingent to Ukraine to deescalate the conflict in Donbas, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey stated on Wednesday.

“We are ready to deploy peacekeepers to carry out peacekeeping tasks, if it is acceptable for all the countries concerned,” the minister said when answering a journalist’s question.

In 2015, Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko voiced the intention to ask the United Nations to send peacekeeping mission to Ukraine. In their turn, Russia and unrecognised Donetsk and Luhansk republics said the possible deployment of peacekeepers would be an attempt to violate the Minsk agreements.

“If some other schemes are proposed, it raises the question of whether the Minsk agreements are going to be adhered to or not,” Vitaly Churkin, the then Russian envoy to the UN, said.

As of today, the Kremlin’s position has changed and now Moscow is even pushing for sending a peacekeeping mission – but on their own terms. First of all, the Kremlin insists on bringing the issue with militants from separatist ‘republics’.

Yury Tsaryk

Will the parties really bring peacekeeping forces into eastern Ukraine? has asked the director of the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies Yury Tsaryk to comment on the situation.

“There is no [ultimate] decision. Everyone realizes that Russia’s proposal concerning peacekeepers is unacceptable to all but Russians, and it will not live out. In turn, the Russian Federation will not agree to alternative proposals. Therefore, there will be peacekeepers [in Donbas],” the expert believes.

According to him, the Belarusian side is set to continue positioning itself as a donor of international stability and demonstrating its willingness to contribute to peace in the region.

“In addition, it is important Minsk show its support of the initiative of the Russian Federation. But this is the case of the readinessness to provide troops, not the conditions,” Tsaryk stresses.

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