Putin agrees peacekeepers may be stationed away from engagement line in Donbass

Putin agrees peacekeepers may be stationed away from engagement line in Donbass”

Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday that United Nations peacekeepers might be deployed to eastern Ukraine not only on the Donbass contact line separating the sides of the conflict but in other parts where OSCE inspectors work.

The conversation between the two leaders was requested by the German side.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Monday said he supported widening the terms for a proposed United Nations force to protect observers monitoring the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but his proposal was unlikely to get Kiev's agreement.

Last week, Putin said that Russian Federation meant to draft a U.N. Security Council resolution to this end, saying it would help resolve the problem in eastern Ukraine, though he also said preconditions would have to be met before any deployment.

Taking into account German chancellor's views, Putin agreed to amend the draft U.N. Security Council resolution to include peacekeeping forces not only on the contact line between the warring parties but also in other parts where OSCE inspectors work.

In a statement, the German Chancellery said Putin "agreed to remove the previous limitation of deployment of the planned United Nations mission" after Merkel pointed out that "changes in the mandate were necessary".

Russian Federation last week asked the UN Security Council to authorise the deployment of a lightly-armed mission to protect worldwide observers monitoring the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

However, Kyiv said the mission should patrol the whole conflict zone including the border between Russian Federation and the separatist-held parts of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which Kyiv says is used to ship weapons and military personnel in from Russian Federation. Ukraine also rejected Moscow's demand that any deployment needs to be agreed by separatists.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russian Federation of being behind the insurgency in a conflict that has killed 10,000 people since 2014.

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