The EU has refused to link the introduction of peacekeepers in Donbass with the lifting of sanctions

The EU does not link the introduction of peacekeepers in Donbass since the beginning of the lifting of sanctions against Russia, said the EU Ambassador in Moscow Vygaudas Usackas in an interview with the newspaper “Kommersant”.

“Such a position the EU has no, but the desire to see progress in the normalization of the situation in the East of Ukraine is shared by all EU countries. How this will be achieved is difficult to say,” he explained.

According to Usackas, France and Germany, which are members of the “Normandy format”, have a special importance in the evaluation of proposals of the Minsk agreements as are parties to this agreement.

The Ambassador stressed that sanctions are not an end in itself. “We in the EU had a choice how to respond to illegal actions of Russia against our neighbor. There were different voices in favor of the fact to provide military assistance to Ukraine, and in favour of doing nothing. It was decided to respond in a diplomatic way”, — he said.

Usackas said that the proposals made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and which were previously expressed by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko about the necessity of the introduction in the Donbass peacekeeping forces, should be developed in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

On 5 September, Putin instructed the foreign Ministry to submit to the UN Security Council resolution on the deployment of peacekeepers international organizations on the frontline in the Donbass. Poroshenko said that Russia’s participation in the peacekeeping mission in the Donbas is impossible.

Member States of the EU, US and several other countries have introduced restrictive measures against Russia in 2014 and linking them with the annexation of Crimea, and then — with the conflict in the South-East of Ukraine. Moscow imposed a ban on food exports from most countries, which supported anti-Russian sanctions.

The abolition of the restrictive measures, the West is linked to the implementation by Moscow of Minsk agreements — a package of measures to stabilize the situation in the South-East of Ukraine. This document, in particular, envisages a ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line of the warring parties, and constitutional reform in the Republic.

Moscow has stated that it is not a party to the conflict in the Donbass, and the responsibility for the implementation of the agreements lies on Kiev. Russia stressed that the accession of Crimea was fully consistent with international norms.