NATIONAL

India’s role in peacekeeping commended

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, 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 Ms. 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 Mr. Klimkin.

During last month’s debate on reform of global peacekeeping at the UN Security Council, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked the organisation to send a peacekeeping mission that would control the violence, which has intensified in the last few weeks.

Preliminary talks

Mr. 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”.

Differing views

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.