The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, was urged on Wednesday February 19th by the Ukraine to draft options for a peacekeeping mission to the war-torn Donbass region, despite opposition from Russia.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told the General Assembly that adopting a UN-mandated peace force could be a "decisive factor" in bringing an end to the five-year war.
Since 2015, Ukraine has sought determinedly to have blue helmets sent to the east, yet Russia rejects it. However, President Vladimir Putin has spoken of possibly sending international observers.
Poroshenko has urged for concrete steps to be taken to prepare for such a mission. He confirmed the blue helmets would be deployed across the Donbass region, in his address to a special assembly session.
He said Guterres should send a fact-finding mission to the region to outline "elaborate respective options" that could be discussed, stressing that the Ukraine was "ready for constructive discussion of this initiative".
The situation that has been lining Russian separatists against Ukrainian government forces is estimated to have claimed more than 10,000 lives—one-third of them civilian—since it broke out five years ago. Another 1.5 million have been driven from their homes in what the Ukrainian president defined as a "cruel, ugly, unnecessary war."