At a press conference following talks with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ,Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is not opposed to peacekeepers being placed throughout Ukraine.
However, Putin said that this would need to be coordinated with the unrecognized Donbas republics.
“We are not against it, at least. But it needs to be arranged with these unrecognized republics. Go there and make an agreement with them. No, nobody wants to do this,” Putin said.
He also remarked that the current proposal is to distribute the peacekeeping mission throughout the entire Donbas, whereas initially there was only talk of ensuring the safety of the OSCE observers situated on the demarcation line.
Putin said that in one of his phone calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Merkel suggested that there should be peacekeepers on the border between Russia and Ukraine.
“I responded, yes, you are probably right. Let them be there too once they are accompanying the OSCE staff, that is, to ensure safety. We went for it. But this also turned out to be insufficient,” the Russian head of state emphasized.
Ukraine insists that the peacekeepers must be on the part of the border shared with Russia in order to prevent the movement of weapons into Ukrainian territory.