The UN peacekeeping forces should replace Russian troops in Donbass. This was stated by the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker during a telephone media briefing for journalists, organized from Brussels, - UNIAN reports.
"I think the most important message for Putin is that Europeans want to see peace in Ukraine, they want to see the restoration of Ukraine's territory, they want to see the implementation of the Minsk agreements. This is all in Russia's hands. We need Russia to make it reality", - Volker said. In his words, the decision to change Russia's behavior depends on Putin.
"And it's important for President Putin too. If he wants the restoration of stable relations with Europe, and if he wants the rollback of the sanctions imposed because of fighting in eastern Ukraine, he must act to resolve the conflict", - Volker stated.
At the same time, he stressed that the support of deployment of the UN peacekeeping forces to Donbass is significant in Europe. "And if President Putin seriously agrees to such a force, not just to protect monitors along the contact line, but to a real peacekeeping force - I think we will be able to see some significant progress. I think this is the main message for President Putin", - Volker emphasized.
However, he said he had no official information from the Kremlin if Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov remains Russia's envoy to the negotiations on Ukraine. "Russia must make a fundamental decision to establish peace in the east of Ukraine, to withdraw its troops and allow the peacekeeping force with the UN mandate to replace them. I think this is the best expectation that exists, so we will do our best to keep the channels and dialogue open. We want to settle this", - Volker said.
As previously reported, Volker said last week that the Russian Federation should take seriously the proposals of the USA, France and Germany regarding the deployment of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Donbass. He specified that the UN peacekeeping mission should ensure peace and security in the Donbass and provide conditions under which the Minsk agreements will be fully implemented.