Speaking at the 2018 YES Conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force is necessary for a lasting peace in the eastern part of the country.
“What will the prospects of deploying a peacekeeping force be – I don’t know, but I have no doubt that the deployment of a robust UN peacekeeping force is the only instrument to implement and still ensure peace in eastern Ukraine,” he said.
However, according to Rasmussen, little progress is likely before Ukraine holds its elections in May 2019 “because Russia wants to keep the current situation unstable and ongoing until after the elections.”
UN Peacekeeping missions, which started during the Cold War, are usually unarmed or lightly armed and unable to engage in heavy conflict. They have often been criticized for their ineffectiveness.
When asked about additional sanctions to punish Russia’s illegal behavior, Rasmussen said “I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that new and strengthened sanctions could be implemented, especially targeted against certain individuals in Russia.”
“However, we also know that recent elections in Europe have resulted in governments that are more skeptical about sanctions, so it’s a bit unsure at this moment whether new sanctions could be introduced and implemented,” he said.
/By Li Ping Luo