Deployment of a United Nations mission in Donbass is to be agreed with both Kiev and with Donetsk and Lugansk and can be possible after disengagement of forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Italy’s Libero newspaper published in its Thursday issue.

“A UN contingent will be deployed in the conflict zone after the parties pull out their weapons and forces,” he said. “Deployment of a UN mission must be agreed with the authorities of both Kiev and in Donetsk and Lugansk.”

Lavrov stressed that a UN force is to be tasked to ensure “exclusively security of OSCE SMM monitors who will be deployed in the disengagement zone on both sides of the contact line and who will patrol other areas in the conflict zone in conformity with the mandate on the implementation of the Minsk agreements.”

The conflict in eastern Ukraine can only be settled via a direct dialogue between Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics in Donetsk and Lugansk but the Ukrainian authorities are reluctant to do that, he went on.

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