MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The EU does not link the deployment of UN peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine to the gradual lifting of sanctions against Russia, EU Ambassador to Russia Vygaudas Usackas said in an interview with Russia's Kommersant newspaper.
Usackas has explained that the EU does not have such a position to lift sanctions against Russia in connection with the introduction of peacekeepers, although the desire to see progress in normalizing the situation in the east of Ukraine is shared by all EU countries.
"How it will be achieved is hard to say. France and Germany, which are members of the Normandy Quartet, are of particular importance in evaluating proposals in regard to the Minsk agreements, as they are parties to this agreement," Usackas added.
In early September, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support for the idea of sending lightly armed peacekeepers to Ukraine in order to ensure the security of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observer mission in Donbass. He stressed that the peacekeepers should operate only along the front line. However, Kyiv insisted that the mission should patrol the whole conflict zone including the Ukrainian-Russian border.
According to reports, Kiev has already submitted its draft resolution on peacekeeping in Donbas for UNSC consideration. The draft allegedly contains a proposal to include the wording "operation to enforce peace," which proves "Russia's role as an aggressor." Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations, stressing that it was not a party to the conflict in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass.