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    In this photo taken on Saturday, July 5, 2014, Ukrainian soldiers walk outside the city government headquarters in the city of Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine

    Both Sides to Ukraine Conflict Resist Peacekeepers Despite Benefits

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    Experts say that both sides of the Ukrainian conflict resist international peacekeeping forces into the Donbas region despite the fact the mission could help stabilize the situation.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Kiev government and the independence supporters in Eastern Ukraine are both reluctant to allow international peacekeeping forces into the Donbas region despite the fact the mission could help stabilize the situation, experts told Sputnik.

    “An international peacekeeping force would be a useful development in reducing the chance of more war,” former Canadian government official Patrick Armstrong told Sputnik on Wednesday. “But there is a very strong party in the US power structure that wants to extend the war against Russia at whatever cost.”

    Armstrong stressed that a peacekeeping mission must be truly international in scope and not a pro-Western group that will ignore violations committed by Ukrainian government forces.

    “The Western propaganda machine would not be happy, however, to have objective observers of what is actually happening,” Armstrong added.

    Georgetown University Professor Jeffrey Anderson said a peacekeeping mission first requires a ceasefire because peacekeepers cannot do their job if there is no peace to keep.

    Anderson argued the advantage of the peacekeeping mission is that it offers the possibility for all parties to live up to the terms of the Minsk agreement.

    “I don’t see why the [US President Barack] Obama administration would not support such an initiative provided that both sides withdraw to their positions held on the eve of the signing of the Minsk II agreement,” Anderson said.

    Woodrow Wilson Center scholar Michael Kofman said none of the parties involved in the conflict are serious about bringing in peacekeepers.

    “The only way there would be international peacekeepers is if Russia got to send its own, undoubtedly to the separatist-controlled part of the country, and I think we all know Ukraine would be categorically opposed to that,” Kofman stated.

    Lavrov proposed the peacekeeping mission, because it is his job as Russia’s chief diplomat, although the foreign minister is also being clever knowing that the peacekeeping mission is outside the scope of the Minsk agreement, Kofman explained.

    “Hence, this is just diplomacy by Moscow to appear amenable and conciliatory, while fully understanding that the logical outcome of the international peacekeeper idea is not something any of the parties truly want,” he said.

    On February, 12, 2015 a ceasefire agreement was hammered out in Minsk by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. The Minsk deal included a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact between the Kiev forces and independence supporters and amendments to the Ukrainian constitution.

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    Tags:
    ceasefire, peacekeeping mission, Ukrainian crisis, Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMMU), Ukraine
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