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Putin's proposed U.N. Ukraine peacekeepers must have full access: Merkel

Putin's proposed U.N. Ukraine peacekeepers must have full access: Merkel
From Reuters - September 15, 2017

BERLIN(Reuters) - Any United Nations peacekeepers sent to eastern Ukraine must be granted access to the entirety of the region held by Moscow-backed separatists, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin floated the idea of deploying U.N. troops to eastern Ukraine in a Monday call with Merkel, suggesting that the U.N. mission could protect observers from the international OSCE monitoring mission.

With growing calls in Germany for the lifting of European Union sanctions against Russia over its activities in Ukraine, Moscow has been keen to float proposals that would help soften export bans that have hit Russians living standards.

I find President Putins proposal to send U.N. troops to protect OSCE observers interesting, she told the FUNKE newspaper group on Friday. A few days ago I discussed with him that the U.N. troops must have access to everywhere where the OSCE is stationed, so the entire Donetsk/Luhansk region.

The conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists has claimed more than 10,000 lives since it erupted in 2014. Russia denies Western accusations it fomented the conflict and provided arms and fighters.

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