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German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer today welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion that armed peacekeepers could be established in East Ukraine to help quell the conflict and establish peace for the local population which has suffered greatly with many civilian deaths, injuries, and loss of infrastructure. However, Germany did make clear that the proposal is not enough to relieve sanctions against Russia. Demmer also said the entire conflict area would have to be patrolled, not just the forward line of troops.
“The president’s suggestion is a step,” said Demmer, adding many further steps were needed before sanctions could be lifted, reported Reuters.
“For a complete lifting of sanctions to be discussed, there would need to be the full implementation of the Minsk ceasefire agreement.”
Germany does not want separatist elements involved in any peacekeeper talks. “It is unclear, why the Donbass militia should have a say in the discussion of the mission’s deployment to the territory of sovereign Ukraine,” she said. “It would be an unacceptable elevation of the importance of the self-proclaimed republics’ authorities,” reported Russian state news agency TASS. Putin has suggested OECD involvement could only be approved if the Donbass rebels agree.
The government in Kyiv also wants peacekeepers to patrol along the Russian-Ukrainian border to prevent heavy weapons from passing through.