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 Putin may accept peacekeeping forces in Donbas

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said he may agree to the deployment of international peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin informed, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainska Pravda

Putin, who is said to have made the remarks during informal talks at peace negotiations in Minsk earlier this year, has shown no public sign of accepting such a move. But as Ukraine prepares to push its own peacekeeper proposals at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, diplomats are scrutinising Moscow carefully for its reaction.

"We need a stabilizing force, a neutral arbiter on the ground. Such peacekeepers could take the form of either UN troops, or a hybrid force made up with EU law enforcers," Klimkin said.

Read also: Terms of "winter package" agreed by Ukrainian, Russian, and European sides

He said Putin had told him he "might accept a peacekeeping force" as Russia and Ukraine met alongside the leaders of France and Germany to hammer out the deal that has brought a partial halt to fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels in the area known as Donbas.

How the Russians respond to Ukraine's proposals will prove a litmus test for the whole Minsk peace deal.

"Peace is entirely in Russia's hands. If Russia is truly interested in stability and de-escalation, it will accept peacekeepers as the best way to go. If they aren't ready to accept them, that tells you all you need to know about the political will in Moscow for implementing the Minsk agreements." Pavlo Klimkin said.

Under the agreement, control over the border between terrorists' areas and Russia is to be returned to Ukrainian forces by the end of 2015. Ukraine insists that this is a "red line", but most observers regard this as an optimistic view.

Read also: 'Next seven days are extremely important. We are going to pay a heavy price for a mistake' - Klimkin
 
 
 
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