Washington is going to seek Russia's approval for 20,000 peacekeepers across Ukraine's east, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, 10 November, citing US and Western officials.
The USA is expected to make the proposal with Russian officials in the coming days, these people said. US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker is slated to meet Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov in Belgrade on 13 November.
"It is driven by hopes in some Western capitals, including Paris and Berlin, that Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking a way out of Moscow’s military support to Ukrainian separatists," The Wall Street Journal said.
According to it, the proposal is also part of a larger Trump administration strategy for Russia that includes diplomatic efforts to force Moscow back into compliance with arms-control treaties.
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko at the UN Security Council asked the world community to deploy peacekeepers in Ukraine as soon as possible.
On 5 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin backed the idea of a peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine provided it is stationed along the contact line and Ukraine coordinates the move with Donetsk and Luhansk separatists. The corresponding Russian resolution has been submitted to the UN Security Council.
Ukraine and its Western partners expect that peacekeepers will be deployed across the entire territory controlled by pro-Russian militants, including an uncontrolled section of the border with Russia.