The key idea of “Plan B” for Donbas is bringing peacemaking forces, and the Ukrainian side has found a way to ensure this.

Oleksiy Arestovych, the speaker of the Ukrainian delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group on Donbas, said this in an interview.

According to him, different options for a return to the Donbas are currently being considered, but he can talk about “Plan B” unofficially.

“Unofficially, I’m talking about ‘Plan B’ as a private individual.” It is being discussed out of public view. And the keyword there is “peacemakers.” It does not differ from Poroshenko’s plan. There is a rumour out of public view that in 2016 we almost agreed on peacemakers, but someone in the Ukrainian delegation did not agree. As a result, the plan to bring them was defeated. Now, we have found a way to provide peacekeepers. The increase of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is a powerful element of control,” Arestovych said.

He also noted that there is no full ceasefire in Donbas, but its intensity, according to the Joint Forces Headquarters, has dropped 5.5 times compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission reports that a total of 2,492 violations of the “silence” regime in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts have been recorded since the beginning of the ceasefire in Donbas. Among those recorded, there were 988 explosions and 1,369 bursts and shots.

To recap, on 20 September 2017 the then president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko declared that in Donbas the peacemakers’ team, which would cover all occupied territory, was necessary. After the change of the president, this idea was postponed for unknown reasons.

Bohdan Marusyak

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