Polish Foreign Minister: there are three options for the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas

There are three options for the deployment of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbass, said Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski in an interview with Polish media, Ukrinform reports. In contrast, the Russian Federation insists that there should not be any NATO countries participating in the mission and that the leadership of the separatist-held territories must become a subject of dialogue, to which many countries cannot agree, Poland included.

"The first option provides for the beginning of a peacekeeping operation that would cut off the Donbas from Ukraine. Most likely, Kyiv will not agree to this concept, since this will lead to a long-term separation of the eastern regions from Ukraine," Waszczykowski said.

The second scenario, he said, is to organize the work of the peacekeeping mission on the Russian-Ukrainian border. "But Moscow probably will not agree to this option, since this would mean depriving the separatists of Russian aid and support," Waszczykowski stressed.

In accordance with the third scenario, the minister said, Russia insists that the UN mission be integrated with the OSCE mission and that its monitoring cover the entire Donbas.

"It seems that this scenario will be difficult to implement, given the scale - it would require many thousands of personnel. Additionally, Russians demand that the mission should not include soldiers from NATO countries, but only neutral countries," the head of Polish diplomacy said.

According to him, few countries would have decided to participate in such an operation.

"And the biggest problem is that such an operation threatens the separatists gaining legitimacy in Donbas, since some kind of agreement would have to be signed with the separatists. This could raise their political status, which is a problem for both Ukraine and other countries, in particular Poland, which do not recognize separatists," Waszczykowski stressed.

He noted that it is necessary to continue to seek a compromise, which on the one hand would guarantee the cessation of hostilities and security for the local population, and on the other hand would steer away from long-term political and legal changes.

Waszczykowski noted that Poland as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2018-2019 is conducting consultations with Ukraine, the United States, Britain and other countries regarding the possible introduction of a UN mission in the Donbas.

He also stated that Warsaw is aware of the limited space for maneuvers. Russia as a permanent member of the UN Security Council will block any decision that goes against its interests.

"On the other hand, we know cases of effective pressure on one of the members of the Council. Therefore, we do not plan to refuse that such pressure is carried out," Waszczykowski stated.

Earlier, Waszczykowski said that Poland has shown "angelic" patience towards Ukraine. Previously, it was reported that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson coordinated positions on peacekeepers in the Donbas.

  UN peacekeeping mission, Donbas, Witold Waszczykowski, Poland, Ukraine