"I think the most important message for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is that Europeans want to see peace in Ukraine, they want to see the restoration of Ukraine's territory, they want to see the implementation of the Minsk agreements," he said in a telephonic press briefing in Brussels, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.
"This is all in Russia's hands. We need Russia to make it reality." According to him, the decision to change Russia's behavior depends on Putin.
"And it's important for President Putin too. If he wants the restoration of stable relations with Europe, and if he wants the rollback of the sanctions imposed because of fighting in eastern Ukraine, he must act to resolve the conflict," Volker said.
The support of the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to the Donbas is significant in Europe, he said. "And if President Putin seriously agrees to such a force, not just to protect monitors along the contact line, but to a real peacekeeping force – I think we will be able to see some significant progress. I think this is the main message for President Putin," Volker said.
However, he said he had no official information from the Kremlin if Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov remains Russia's envoy to the negotiations on Ukraine. "Russia must make a fundamental decision to establish peace in the east of Ukraine, to withdraw its troops and allow the peacekeeping force with the UN mandate to replace them. I think this is the best expectation that exists, so we will do our best to keep the channels and dialogue open," Volker said.
On Sept. 5, Russian President Putin said deployment of U.N. peacekeepers in the Donbas was quite appropriate for solving of the conflict in the region, but only along the line of contact and with the aim of protecting the OSCE mission.
Ukraine's representative in Humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite contact group in Minsk talks, deputy speaker of Ukrainian parliament Iryna Herashchenko commented on Putin's statement and said the Kremlin scenarios will fail; peacekeepers must be introduced across all Russia-occupied territories.