NEW DELHI, Oct. 7 – Ukraine wants India to send peacekeepers to help contain the conflict with Russia in the eastern parts of the country, The Hindu newspaper reported on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said he expects India to “definitely” play a role in the peacekeeping mission which will soon come up for discussion at the UN Security Council (UNSC).
“The Indian peacekeepers have proved their role, resilience, tenacity and commitment to peace and therefore why not have them in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine as it could be one of the options in the future,” Klimkin said, the newspaper reported.
Klimkin, who is on a three-day visit to India, held extensive discussions with his counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, on Saturday for the upcoming inter-governmental commission dialogue between two sides.
He briefed Swaraj on the situation in eastern Ukraine, which has left a part of its eastern province, Donbas, in the hands of the rebels that Kyiv claims are backed by Moscow.
“India is already a significant peacekeeper in the region and across the globe and could definitely play a similar role in our region,” said Klimkin.
During last month’s debate on reform of global peacekeeping at the UN Security Council, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked the organization to send a peacekeeping mission that would control the violence, which has intensified in the last few weeks.
Klimkin said discussion on India’s participation in the peacekeeping mission was at a preliminary level and further consultations were needed to fine-tune the composition of the mission. “The recipe is simple — Russia should go out of Ukraine,” he said.
He also gave details of bilateral talks on the issue and said “Indian and Ukrainian Permanent Representatives at the UN have already met on this issue and we need to discuss conceptual approach for the mission. After we have convinced Russia on such an approach .. it is highly likely we will come back to our Indian friends”.
However, an issue with this peacekeeping mission is the location for the troops. While Ukraine insists that the troops should be stationed at the original Ukraine-Russia border, Russian sources indicated that Moscow would prefer the troops to be placed at the ‘Line of Contact’ between Ukraine and the rebel held territory. (th/ez)