US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and Russian Presidential Advisor Vladislav Surkov discussed the introduction of a peacekeeping contingent in the Donbas during their meeting in Belgrade, a Ukrainian government source told Apostrophe news website.
“Initially the peacekeepers will facilitate the delimitation of forces, a complete ceasefire and the withdrawal of equipment. Thereafter the Verkhovna Rada will adopt laws as part of the Minsk agreements, and there will be an exchange of prisoners according to the formula ‘all for all’. After this, the peacekeepers’ mandate will expand to all the territories of the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, and preparation will begin for local elections. After the elections, Kyiv will be given control of the border, and the peacekeepers’ mandate will be considered complete,” the source stated.
The source emphasized that Volker was interested in this proposition, and that this decision will be accepted as a compromise, if US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not replaced by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley soon – the likelihood of which is quite high in the source’s opinion. If this happens, the direction of the US negotiations with Russia may change.
As reported, on October 7, US Department of State Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker met with Russian Presidential Advisor Vladislav Surkov in Serbia.