Ukraine Urges Turkey to Participate in Peace Mission in Donbass

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President of Ukraine, Pyotr Poroshenko, on Saturday invited Turkey to participate in the arrival of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbass region. Poroshenko is next to Ukrainian officials on a two-day visit to Turkey.

“I have offered the [Turkish] president to intensify our dialogue, including support for the decision to send peacekeepers in agreement with the UN Security Council. We can trust Turkey if we take part in the establishment of the peace in Donbass by sending their peace mission as part of the [UN mission],” the Ukrainian president said on Saturday after a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Ukrainian government has called for the UN peacekeeping mission in Donbass since 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin backed the idea, emphasizing that the mission should only ensure the security of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) staff.

However, Ukraine wants the peace mission to be carried throughout the region of Donbass, including the border with Russia.

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Such a UN peacekeeping mission will not be actualized if the terms are not agreeable to all of the present signatories to the Minsk Agreement and the UN Security Council. For that reason, Poroshenko’s ‘invitation’ is at this point, more symbolic than actionable.

The armed conflict began in the region in 2014, when Kiev launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government that came to power after the fall of President Viktor Yakunovych.

In an attempt to end the hostilities, the sides signed a peace agreement in 2015, but Kiev and Donbass have accused each other ever since of breaches of the truce.

This comes as Kiev carried out exercises with real missile fire on the border with Russia near the Crimea, announced the Ukrainian Air Force days ago.

“In the Kherson region of Ukraine, at the Yagorlyk Polygon, firing exercises were carried out on S-300PS, S-300PT, Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems, S-125M1 anti-aircraft missile flight tests and Osa-AKM2 modernized system, “the statement said on Facebook.

It was reported on Thursday that the anti-aircraft exercises begun in the Kherson region to test offshore missiles. The airspace over the Black Sea in this area will be closed from 1 to 4 November because of these missile launch tests.

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