According to Klimkin, Putin mentioned the possibility during informal talks in Minsk early this year. However, the Russian President has failed to back up his words with actions so far.

Klimkin believes there should be ‘a stabilizing force’ and ‘neutral arbiter’, such as the UN or EU peacekeeping troops, in the temporarily occupied areas. The Foreign Minister said that the Russian side’s response to Kiev’s suggestion is a litmus test of how interested it is in the stability and de-escalation of the conflict.

“It will tell you all you need to know about the political will in Moscow for implementing Minsk,” Klimkin concluded.