Accessibility links

Agreement to Send Armed European Police Force to Eastern Ukraine

  • VOA News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2-R) hosts talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (5-L), French President Francois Hollande (L) and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, (5-R, back to camera) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Oct. 19, 2016.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2-R) hosts talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (5-L), French President Francois Hollande (L) and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, (5-R, back to camera) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Oct. 19, 2016.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says an agreement was reached Thursday on sending an armed OSCE police mission to separatist eastern Ukraine to help enforce the Minsk peace accords.

A deal was reached Wednesday at talks in Berlin that also included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and French President Francois Hollande.

Details on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mission still need to be worked out, as well as details on a roadmap on implementing the Minsk cease-fire.

The primary responsibility of the OSCE police would be to ensure security for local elections in eastern Ukraine, a major condition of the Minsk agreement.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the number of areas where opposing forces are physically separated also need to be expanded to strengthen the cease-fire and prevent a flare-up of hostilities.

FILE - Russia-backed rebel tanks with a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic are seen near Novoazovsk, eastern Ukraine, Oct. 21, 2015.

FILE - Russia-backed rebel tanks with a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic are seen near Novoazovsk, eastern Ukraine, Oct. 21, 2015.

The talks were Putin’s first visit to Berlin since the fighting in eastern Ukraine erupted in early 2014 and came a day before the 28 leaders of the European Union meet to discuss relations with Russia, including sanctions over its involvement in Ukraine.

The 2015 Minsk agreement mediated by France and Germany has brought on fewer large-scale battles between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine. But the fighting has continued and efforts to reach a political settlement have stalled.

The agreement, signed in the Belarusian capital by representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the separatist rebels, calls for Ukraine to decentralize power and adopt laws providing for self-governance in areas of eastern Ukraine currently controlled by the separatists.

Ukraine has accused Russia of not doing enough to influence rebels to relinquish control over parts of the Ukrainian-Russian border.

Russia, for its part, has accused Ukraine of not adopting the constitutional amendments Moscow says it was obligated to introduce granting autonomy to parts of eastern Ukraine.

All sides involved have already agreed to the terms of the peace deal signed in 2015, though it has failed to stop the fighting in the area.

XS
SM
MD
LG