Ukraine’s proposal to deploy peacekeepers in the war-torn Donbass region of the country will be discussed at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the "Normandy Four" in Berlin on Monday. The idea was floated earlier this year in the Ukrainian parliament as a further measure to stabilize the east of the country.
"We plan to discuss this subject and present our arguments in favor of it," Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevgeny Perebeinos said Friday, adding that the meeting would also discuss the implementation of the Minsk agreement.
The meeting will be the first among the foreign ministers of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France since the war's one-year anniversary this week.
High on the agenda will be the progress of the Minsk agreement that established a ceasefire, signed on Feb. 12, which came into force on Feb. 15. While instances of shelling and fatalities have decreased in the past month, both the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels have accused each other of breaching the agreement on a daily basis.
Ukraine has specifically accused the rebels of using the relative calm of the truce to bolster their forces in the south and redirect them near the economically and strategically important port city of Mariupol, where intermittent clashes continue to undermine the ceasefire.
The city is widely regarded as being crucial to the Minsk agreement's success. If pro-Russian rebels were to take it, some experts believe that the war would fully resume and the U.S. may even be driven to offer lethal aid to Ukraine.
It’s yet to be seen what role peacekeepers might have in the country, but Polish President Bronisław Komorowski said in Kiev on Wednesday that his country is ready to participate in such a mission.
“We assume that a solution based on non-engaged countries is possible, but were there to be a different decision, Poland would not shrink from participation in an operation of this kind,” Komorowski said, speaking at a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.
However, the Polish leader also said that a U.N. agreement on peacekeepers “would surely be very hard to obtain.” Russia holds veto power on the Security Council.