Kremlin not against UN peacekeepers throughout occupied Donbas

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 2.3.2018 13:01

At the 28 February press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that he was ”at the very least not against” a deployment of UN peacekeepers throughout the occupied Donbass, including on the Russian-Ukrainian border segment. He added, however, that for this to happen, it must be negotiated with the Donetsk and Luhansk pro-Russian separatist republics.

Putin's suggestion that the deployment is negotiated directly with the separatist republics is rather a dead end than a breakthrough. Russia is occupying Donbass through its proxies, so if Moscow indeed agrees with the initiative, it can implement it unilaterally. But if Kiev tries to negotiate with Donetsk and Luhansk and the latter refuse or stall the deployment, Kremlin can always point to the fact that while it agreed with the idea, it was up to the separatist republics to accept it or not. Second, Putin knows that Ukraine will not negotiate with the "republics" as this would grant them their legitimacy, while Kiev's territorial integrity law designates the region as occupied by Russia. Ahead of the March presidential elections in Russia, Putin formulated this proposal in a way that allows him to assume the peacemaker image, while aiming for the failure of the initiative.


About author: Mihai Turcanu


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