Ukraine Day 1297: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Germany has greeted Putin’s proposals for peacekeepers in the Donbass, and the US has expressed ‘cautious optimism” but there is skepticism.
Yesterday’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
UN Security Council. Photo by Bebeto Matthews/AP
As we reported, Russia submitted a proposal to the UN Security Council on September 5 — not yet made public — for peacekeepers to be positioned only at the line of contact and only to protect OSCE observers.
Germany welcomed the proposal for UN peacekeepers to be deployed to eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Putin’s announcement was “surprising” but said he was “very pleased to see this first signal” that Putin “want to further discuss a demand which Russia has directed in the past.”
German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said any deployment would have to cover the whole area of conflict, not just the contact line as indicated by Putin, but said, “The presidents suggestion is a step”. Many others would have to be added before the complete lifting of sanctions could be discussed, she added.
“President Poroshenko has been speaking about peacekeepers for two years, and now Ukraine has an opportunity to get them,” Melnyk tells RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, suggesting Russia’s motivations are dubious. “Russia is guided by the logic of war and the logic of achieving victory and is not interested in resolving the conflict.”
More than 10,000 people, including both soldiers and civilians have been killed in the war in Ukraine since 2014.
It should be a familiar routine by now: Vladimir Putin offers an apparent diplomatic breakthrough in eastern Ukraine. Western negotiators get overexcited; the peace-shuttling commences; an agreement is signed. But the Russian strongman only uses the process to consolidate his gains on the ground, without making good on his commitments. Then he pounces for more territory when conditions are advantageous.The Kremlin’s call for deploying a United Nations peacekeeping force to eastern Ukraine is an example of this familiar ruse, and the West should avoid falling for it.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick