US-Russian Talks On UN Peacekeeping Mission In Eastern Ukraine Is In Deadlock

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US-Russian Talks On UN Peacekeeping Mission In Eastern Ukraine Is In Deadlock

Kurt Volker visits Avdeyevka, a city situated north of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, July 23, 2017.

The talks between Putin adviser Vladislav Surkov and US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker were “a step back” according to the latter.

The meeting between US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Putin adviser Vladislav Surkov regarding the deployment of a UN security mission in contentious Donbass region took place in Belgrade on November 13. In a November 27 interview to Politico, Volker said that the talks accomplished “nothing”.

There are two possible propositions of a UN security mission in Donbass. Moscow had proposed to deploy United Nations peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine along the line currently separating Ukrainian government forces and the separatists. According to this proposal, the UN force should be situated along the line and nowhere else, so it can focus on protecting the OSCE observers. The US idea, according to Volker, is to create a UN peacekeeping force that would have not only free rein but also security authority throughout the entire contested area up to and including the Ukraine-Russia border. Besides having access to the border, the UN force should not have any Russian personnel in it, he said.

“Our third meeting [with Surkov], as you said, was a step back. They went back to their original proposal again. I don’t know what the next step after this is. It could be that that happened for completely other reasons having nothing to do with Ukraine, just where we are in our US.-Russian relationship. It could have had to do with the lack of a bilateral meeting between President Putin and President Trump.”

Moscow rejected 26 out of 29 of the paragraphs in Volker’s proposal, with the negotiations coming to deadlock.

But Volker said he intends to keep negotiating. He said the peacekeeping plan represents the best hope to return to Minsk II, a peace agreement that both Ukraine and Russia pledged to follow.

“What we are trying to do is clarify the options,” Volker said. “If they want to dig in, they can, but it’s going to cost a lot. If they want to move on, it can be something we all agree on and we can find a way to make that work out.”

Volker said he found Surkov a useful interlocutor, in that the Kremlin adviser clearly has the president’s ear and comes in his capacity as a “political operative” talking about a fundamentally political decision, “not as some powerless functionary from the Russian Foreign Ministry.”

Volker also noted that the US would like to have friendly relations with Russia, but Russia makes it difficult using different means, be it sending the US mission out of the embassy in Moscow, actions in Syria, or Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Volker said he still thinks that the situation in Ukraine may serve as a basis for a positive outcome.

Volker insisted Putin could turn that around by cutting a deal now to end hostilities and bring in outside peacekeepers.

“By invading the country and taking part of the territory, they’ve produced a more nationalist, more Western-oriented, more unified Ukraine than ever existed before,” Volker argued. “That’s exactly the opposite of what they wanted to produce, so it gives them a reason to say, ‘Well, we’re not getting out of this what we wanted. It’s costing us a lot to do it, both in a very specific sense of a military operation and civilian administration,’ but it’s also costing in terms of sanctions, their reputation, their relationship with the European Union, their relationship with the United States. So they might have an interest in resolving this.”

Since the beginning of Donbass conflict Ukraine and the West regularly blame Russia of deploying its military forces there. Russia has denied the accusations.

Overall, he said, prospects for peace are so dim he reckons it’s very likely that active fighting will continue a year from now in Ukraine. When asked “How likely?”, he said: “I’d say it’s at least 80 percent. There’s a chance that there won’t be [any fighting], but the most likely scenario is that this continues,” he added grimly, noting that more than 10,000 people in eastern Ukraine have been killed since the fighting broke out.

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  • John

    I find Mr. Volker’s remarks as quoted, to be a one way vision. The US and Co. engineered a presidential coup in the first place. This is not even in the mind of this gentleman when regarding a settlement. Further, as for it not working out the way ‘Russia planned it’, it has turned into a very large backfired fiasco for the Western countries involved in the trouble they initiated in Ukraine. The far reaching consequences, have overturned a number of heavily invested apple carts, in various places around the world for them. Mr. Volker’s thinking is a dead end and should be dropped as soon as possible, if the West wishes to stay relevant in Ukraine. I wish well to all.

    • Tudor Miron

      Volker is arrogant enough to think that others are even less smart than he is and that they will buy into that BS that he’s trying to spread. “US would like to have friendly relations with Russia, but Russia makes it difficult using different means, be it sending the US mission out of the embassy in Moscow, actions in Syria, or Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.”(c) Friendly relations as US see it = they give orders and the rest should obey and be grateful. This seem to be fine with Europeans – they accept it (evidence is that they keep electing the same politicians). Seems that they like being vassals as longs as they are allowed to consume in relative comfort. They don’t seem to be able to comprehand that level of comfort is going down relatively fast. Crude awakening is on the cards :)

      • John

        Hello Tudor, nice to see you.

        Yes, the arrogance displayed by Mr. Volker is galling. I am back in the US now for a visit with family and I can confirm that the media in general is doing it’s best to keep the general population as far from actual knowledge of the global events and circumstances as possible. However that smoke screen is losing a bit of it’s luster and they are starting to know something is wrong. I wish well to you

        • Tudor Miron

          Hello John and thanks for your kind words. Warm wishes from cold (winter is coming) Russia :)

        • TiredOfBsToo

          “.. general population as far from actual knowledge..”

          Sorry to butt in, but here’s something else to think about. Of course everyone knows about: the absence of news in the MSM press, the games being played with alternative media by the government approved social media giants, RT forced to register under FARA; but there’s another wrinkle to keeping Americans ignorant. You of course have heard of net neutrality I’m sure. The FCC is about to toss it away allowing ISP’s to filter Internet traffic. Just like controlling the social media sites, it will allow for additional government control over what Americans can and cannot access which of course means, no access to news not sanctioned by the state.

          • John

            Hello Tired. No need to apologize. I enjoy your take on things.

            I have seen that move going on in places like social media. I did not know about FARA and RT. What is going to put a bee in the bonnet of the closet totalitarians in the US, is that now my people are beginning to listen with an open ear. The machine was set up so that they would automatically reject all that did not match the official line. That barrier has now had holes punched in it. Like myself, many in the US have set out to find what the truth is, because we realize the news we have been fed and the history which was handed to us, is not the truth or anything approximating it.

            Thank you for your input. I wish well to you.

          • TiredOfBsToo

            Thanks for your kind words and I’m glad I could inform you about FARA. I wish you good health and hope we all live to see the nutzies (psychopaths) go the way of the dodo.

  • Cheryl Brandon

    Volker is another NEO con VULTURE who supports the Fascist Ukraine hawks 100%. U$A has nothing to offer people but WAR/violence and COUPS and Criminality

  • Derapage

    Joining UE the Ukrainians want to get invaded by Black Africans :-D

    • Orcbuu

      Porcoshenko already Agreed on the “Hospitality” of Refugees some years ago, but the Slavemakers denied it, he only wanted money from them for that, but it is not in there plan to invade ukraine with refugees or the people may be getting more suspicious.

  • Orcbuu

    Holy Shit, this is ONE really Fucking arrogant arsehole, completly upsidedown storys from him, such a hypocrit what is so funny is that so many National Ukrainians even want to be raped/slaves to the Corporate Empires.
    How in the right mind do they think they will be treated the next years? So much Treason from this country.
    Reminds me everytime when John McCain standing in a Building and making Photos of the Maidan Revolution and smiling laughing his ass of, of this Useful Idiots who destroy there own country for some other slavemakers and lies.

    • The real danger is that Volker believes what he is saying.

      • Orcbuu

        Yeah, germans have a word for that, it calls it VerLogen, people who believe there own lies.

  • Pave Way IV

    “By invading the country and taking part of the territory, they’ve produced a more nationalist, more Western-oriented, more unified Ukraine than ever existed before,” Volker argued.

    See, it’s not the fault of the US at all for funding a Ukrainian regime-change op. It’s Russia’s fault! And Volker’s bizarre description of Ukraine as more nationalistic, western-oriented and unified ignores the most prominent fact that it’s now a FAILED STATE with a government far more corrupt than under Russia-friendly mobster Yanukovych.

    Ukraine’s educated younger citizens are voting with their feet against the ‘new’ Ukraine the US has forced on them. They are increasingly abandoning their resulting ‘western-oriented’ failed state for the west. The US forgot that you need land-mines, razor wire topped fences and border guards to keep a captive population from leaving their nationalistic, unified, western-oriented gulag of fake, corrupt democracy. All the propaganda in the world isn’t going to make Ukraine any more attractive to jobless younger Ukrainian skilled labor and college grads.

    What Volker should really be concentrating on is how to KEEP those freedomized Ukrainians inside their country-sized version of Soviet East Germany. Diplomacy won’t help – the US needs a wall, razor-wire topped fences and machine-gun equipped guard towers to ‘solve’ Ukraine’s current rate of depopulation.

    • George King

      Just another open air prison as we see in the fascist state of Israel.

  • nesa

    Peacekeeping was Mr. Putin’s idea. Now, I guess hi wishes he kept his mouth shut.

  • George King

    Volker promises to send in the Arizona State Sun Devils to settle this once and for all. Out of his league as most lying idiots that just keep on smiling and waving……….