Poroshenko inks permission for foreign troops in Ukraine
The Ukrainian president has sealed amendments to the law that allow foreign troops to be present in Ukraine as part of an international peacekeeping force. The legislation also potentially allows the presence of weapons of mass destruction in the country.
Adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament (the Rada) earlier this month and signed by President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday, the amendments establish the necessary legal background and conditions for stationing foreign troops in the country. Kiev hopes that this will help to stabilize the situation in the war-torn eastern regions of Ukraine.
READ MORE: Kiev to allow foreign armed forces in Ukraine, incl. ‘potential carriers of nukes’
Poroshenko said earlier that Ukraine had the right to turn to the UN Security Council with the request for deploying peacekeepers in an effort to establish peace in the country. At the same time the law bans military units from countries “involved in military aggression against Ukraine” from participating in peacekeeping deployments.
Part of the law also establishes provisions for the potential deployment of nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction on the condition that Ukraine will monitor their stay on its territory.
Any admission of foreign troops or foreign military equipment must first be submitted to the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Defense.
Kiev sees the deployment of peacekeeping forces as means by which to tackle the aggression which they allege to have come from Russia. Kiev however, despite harsh anti-Moscow rhetoric, has so far been reluctant to approve any legally binding papers declaring Russia an “aggressor.”
READ MORE: Moscow denies agreeing deployment of peacekeepers in Ukraine
Russia believes that any peacekeeper deployment would be relevant only after all points of the Minsk II agreement signed in February are fully implemented, and only if both sides of the conflict – Kiev and the rebel republics – agree to the measure.
However, both the rebels and the Ukrainian government accuse each other of derailing the Minsk agreements through ceasefire violations and a failure to follow the road-map.
Moscow also suggested that the OSCE – as the leading security institution involved in tackling the Ukrainian crisis – should be given priority in the case that such mission is deployed. Ukraine insists that the UN and EU should lead the potential peacekeeping missions