Kiev calls for UN peacekeeping mission
On Thursday, amid the ongoing Russian offensive, Ukraine’s parliament called on the United Nations and other international organizations to send a peacekeeping mission to their country.
Addressing the UN, the International Red Cross, the European Parliament and “parliaments and cabinets” of all nations, they adopted a resolution urging foreign involvement to “protect civilian population from armed attacks by Russian invaders.” The lawmakers called for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force, the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukrainian territory, and the opening of “green corridors” for the passage of humanitarian aid and refugees.
Any UN peacekeeping mission would have to be authorized by the UN Security Council (UNSC), where Russia holds veto power. However, should the UNSC be unable to issue authorization, under UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 377(V), passed in 1950, UNGA can take such matters into its own hands. Nonetheless, the supreme UN body must recommend that the assembly do so, and at least seven UNSC members must favor the move.
Earlier, Kiev had repeatedly floated the idea of deploying UN peacekeepers into the country’s east, where the Ukrainian forces have been facing off with rebels in the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk since 2014. A mission to the region has never materialized, however.
Russia launched a large-scale military offensive in Ukraine last week, claiming it was the only option to protect the two republics from what it alleged was Kiev’s plan to retake them by force. Moscow also stated that its goals were to “denazify” and “demilitarize” its neighbor. Ukraine has denied any plan to attack the republics, and insists Russia’s offensive was unprovoked. Donetsk and Lugansk split from Ukraine in 2014, following the Maidan events in Kiev that led to the downfall of the country’s democratically elected government.