Ukraine foreign minister in Riga: Peacekeepers could be an option

Ukraine's foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin was on a visit in Riga on September 29.

Speaking to journalists after talks with his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics, Klimkin said he did not rule out the possibility that peacekeeping forces could help resolve the situation in occupied parts of his country, but warned against "Russian tricks" along the way.

"We believe peacekeeper options could be a way forward. But not in the way of Russian tricks, but in the sense of consistent and effective operation in the future," he said.

"I believe the Russian proposal is not about any plan. It's an intentional trick to go into division among our friends and allies. The Russian trick is about legitimizing a Russian protectorate in occupied Donbas because it's about legitimization of Russian colonies there. The Russian trick is about freezing the touchline as basically the new border and the Russian trick is about not increasing security both for the OSCE and for the future peacekeepers but actually for diminishing security because having the mandate they simply are not able to operate effectively."

"Firstly no legitimization of a Russian protectorate in occupied Donbas. Secondly, the mandate for the future peacekeeper mission simply must include the whole territory of the occupied Donbas and the uncontrolled part of the Ukrainian Russian border. Third, this mandate should of course include full - and I mean really full - pullback of Russian regular forces, Russian mercenaries, Russian weaponry from occupied Donbas and disarmament."

LSM asked if the pair of ministers had discussed possible efforts by illegal foreign fighters in Donbas to use Latvian banks as part of their fundraising. While Rinkevics said the topic had not been on the agenda, but that he welcomed a swift investigation being conducted by the relevant authorities.

If proven, such actions would be "totally unacceptable and contrary to our law" Rinkevics said. 

Klimkin also expressed warm appreciation for Latvia's support for its territorial integrity and for the help and treatment  Ukrainian servicemen wounded in the line of duty have received in Latvia.


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