As reported by Censor.NET, the presidential press office quoted Petro Poroshenko as saying in an interview with German Handelsblatt newspaper that Ukraine, Europe and the world urgently need peace in the Donbas.
"If you ask Ukrainians, the closer they are to the frontline, the more they want peace. That is why we look forward to the introduction of the peacekeeping mission under the auspices of the UN," the head of state said.
The president noted that there was certain progress in the introduction of such a mission in the occupied part of the Donbas. "There is certain progress in this issue: when in 2015, I put forward this request to the UN for the first time, everyone was against this. Our American and European friends also had doubts. In the course of my meeting with President Trump in June 2017, he confirmed willingness to support such a UN mission to liberate part of Ukraine from Russian occupying troops," he said.
Poroshenko also expressed gratitude to Germany and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel: "Firstly, the coalition agreement of the new government provided for a whole chapter for Ukraine, including on the support of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the east of the state. It has an important symbolic meaning".
The president also stressed that Ukraine needs unity and solidity of the European Union and solidarity with Ukraine. "Most of all we need a united and strong EU, as well as its solidarity with Ukraine. And at this stage, first of all, the allocation of the UN peacekeepers to Ukraine," he said.
He also outlined the difference between the Ukrainian and Russian approaches to the introduction of a peacekeeping mission. "Russia wants to place blue helmets along the touch line, so that they do not interfere with the occupation forces. This is unacceptable. Later, Russia agreed that they would work throughout the territory, but, according to the Russian plan, they should only accompany observers from the OSCE SMM. We also want blue helmets disarming illegal armed groups, protecting local residents there and controlling the inflow and movement of military equipment. And, of course, they should control part of the Ukrainian-Russian border temporarily uncontrolled by Ukraine," the president said.
Asked how Berlin and Brussels should act, Poroshenko said: "They should urgently ensure that we get the mandate of the UN Security Council. And ceasefire. After all, during the ongoing armed clashes, it will not be possible to deploy peacekeepers there. And our Western partners must realize that sanctions are an extremely effective tool - only they can make Putin sit down at the negotiating table. If Russian aggression continues, sanctions must be enhanced".
Poroshenko also reiterated that "there is no internal dispute over power, no frozen conflict in Ukraine's east - there is Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine". "This is not a frozen conflict, although its solution has shifted ever since: first to the New Year, then to the elections in Russia. Putin should finally explain why he still does not allow the deployment of a peacekeeping mission, which is called to bring peace at last," the president said.
On Sept. 5, Russian President Putin said deployment of U.N. peacekeepers in the Donbas was quite appropriate for solving of the conflict in the region, but only along the line of contact and with the aim of protecting the OSCE mission.
Ukraine's representative in Humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite contact group in Minsk talks, deputy speaker of Ukrainian parliament Iryna Herashchenko commented on Putin's statement and said the Kremlin scenarios will fail; peacekeepers must be introduced across all Russia-occupied territories.