US Special Representative for Ukrainian Negotiations Kurt Volker and his Russian counterpart Vladislav Surkov agreed on three out of 29 paragraphs of the US proposal on the UN peacekeeping force in Donbas during their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia on November 13, 2017.
“Our delegation deemed three paragraphs appropriate,” Surkov said to Russian news agency TASS the following day. “That’s not a lot, of course. But three is not zero. It’s better than zero.”
US envoy Kurt Volker (L) and his Russian counterpart discussed the US proposal for a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine on November 13 in Belgrade, Serbia. Photo credit: US Embassy in Ukraine
According to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine’s website, Volker and Surkov’s third meeting this year contained a “thorough discussion of the current diplomatic state of play concerning efforts to end the war in the Donbas.”
“It is not surprising that the United States and Russia have different concepts for how to make peace, but we will continue to work to get there,” the website reads.
The embassy highlighted that there has always been a “need for a combination of political and security measures to be taken under Minsk.”
Any further details on the peacekeeping force are not yet known. Earlier, on November 9, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. suggested that 20,000 peacekeepers be deployed across Donbas.
But Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told Ukraine’s Inter TV channel on November 10 that the exact number of peacekeepers is not yet established.
“If I tell you it’s five or fifty, someone will then say ‘why did you say it’s five, why did you say it’s fifty’,” he said.
“We have a plan. As soon as I know more, I will tell.”
/By Maria Romanenko