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Expert: resolution on peacekeepers should avoid Budapest Memorandum mistakes

"The clearer each function is spelled out, the more arguments we will have."

Expert: resolution on peacekeepers should avoid Budapest Memorandum mistakes
Anna Shelest
Photo: Photo: Max Trebukhov

The first UN resolution on peacekeepers in Donbas will be very important so Ukraine should not miss the nuances it may contain, warned Hanna Shelest, a board member of the Foreign Policy Council in the Ukrainian Prism think tank.

"The problem is that the UN Charter does not regulate peacekeeping missions, so each mission is made to order like a suit. Every function, every formulation is checked, debated and spelled out," the expert told a roundtable at Gorshenin Institute on Tuesday, 19 September.

"This first resolution will be very important, as the history of such missions showed. The clearer each function is spelled out, the closer they will match our interests, the more arguments we will have," she warned.

The UN resolution oт peacekeepers in Donbas, Shelest explained, "may prescribe the transfer of powers to new provisional authorities or administration. In this case, the question arises who will control them."

The disarmament, the expert added, may be complete or may mean a disengagement of troops. "The protection of the border vs the patrolling of the border. Theoretically, the mandate of the peacekeeping mission may include either of that, but we do realize that the difference, in fact, may be dramatic," the expert said.

Shelest suggested that it is very important for Ukraine not to make a mistake in this regard.

"Take the Budapest Memorandum. We call it the guarantee of Ukraine's territorial integrity, but if you take a look at the English text you will see that it says nothing about guarantees. It says 'assurance' which has an entirely different meaning in the English legal language. Also, a memorandum is not a treaty that we could get," she said.

Shelest stressed that much will depend on such details.