Kiev Sees ‘Unique’ Chance for Peace

Kiev Sees ‘Unique’ Chance for PeaceKiev Sees ‘Unique’ Chance for Peace

Kiev authorities have a “unique” opportunity to end the Ukrainian conflict and establish peace in the southeast of the country, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has told the Russian Kommersant newspaper.

“We have a unique chance to come to peace and we must use it. We are ready for it,” Klimkin said, referring to the Minsk peace deal, signed in February, Sputnik reported.

The agreement, reached between Kiev and the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LPR) following 16-hour talks between the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the Belarusian capital, stipulates a number of measures aimed at bringing the military conflict in southeastern Ukraine to an end.

“I think that in the current situation everyone should do everything to move closer to peace. First of all a ceasefire regime has to be established. Next, all heavy artillery needs to be pulled out candidly and the withdrawal should not be used to gain tactical advantages. And third, one should be honest with oneself and with those who perform monitoring work; I am talking about the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE,” Klimkin said, describing three of the Minsk document provisions.

Speaking about the monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in particular, Klimkin stressed that they should be shown how and where heavy weaponry is withdrawn from southeastern Ukraine.

“What needn’t be done is creating an additional concentration of forces on the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk or changing old armaments for new ones instead of withdrawing them,” Klimkin said.

Pavlo Klimkin has already sent a preliminary request to the UN Security Council for a peacekeeping mission to be sent to the southeast of the country, he added.

“I have already made a preliminary request – I had the right to do that as [foreign] minister,” Klimkin said, adding that a formal request from Ukraine will be made by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Kiev government has been considering whether to ask for the deployment of international peacekeepers along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine and on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The OSCE, tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Minsk agreements, has repeatedly requested detailed information on the routes of heavy weaponry pullout from southeastern Ukraine.