Lavrov: Peacekeepers will never be in the Donbas
During an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he categorically rejects Ukraine’s condition that security in eastern Ukraine be a precondition for elections in the Donbas.
"Now, security has suddenly become the main issue for Poroshenko, not only the ceasefire but also ensuring the presence of some security forces in the entire territory of the Donbas. I’d like to say: the Donbas will never agree to that," Lavrov stated.
According to the Russian Foreign Minister, Moscow objects to the establishment of a peacekeeping mission in the Donbas, though the Kremlin would allow the strengthening of the current OSCE monitoring mission.
Lavrov also demanded that the process of granting special status to the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine begin before there is any talk of security guarantees.
"Ukrainians are saying that political reform will be initiated only when security is guaranteed 100% for several weeks or months. But it is impossible, it’s not real,” he emphasized.
Russian Foreign Minister outlined the steps that he believes Ukraine should take before security in the region can be considered.
"Everyone is on Ukraine’s side when it comes to political issues. It concerns the status of the Donbas which was agreed in the Minsk Agreements and should be enshrined in the Constitution. It’s about amnesty... But now they say that it will be adopted on the basis of the Law from 1996. It’s an extreme measure which should be enshrined in the Constitution, elections. And the Minsk Agreements expressly state that such measures should be agreed to with the Donbas, but we don’t see anything like that,” Lavrov explained.