Russia's involvement in peacekeeping operations needs to be expanded - UN military adviser for peacekeeping operations
MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) - UN Assistant Secretary-General and Military Adviser for Peacekeeping Operations Carlos Loitey and the first deputy chief of the Russian Defense Ministry's international cooperation department, Maj. Gen. Yevgeny Ilyin, have discussed the possibility of building up Russia's involvement in UN peacekeeping missions.
"Lieut. Gen. Loitey has spoken of priorities of the activity and current needs of the United Nations in expanding the scope of peacekeeping operations that can be assisted to be satisfied," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Loitey and Ilyin discussed Russia's participation in peacekeeping missions at their Moscow meeting, the ministry said.
"The UN Assistant Secretary-General was informed of Russian servicemen's participation in peacekeeping operations, including those being carried out under the UN aegis, and the Russian Defense Ministry program for the training of peacekeepers, and possible formats of peacekeeping interaction between the UN and the Russian Armed Forces," the ministry added.
The interlocutors focused on the accreditation of the International Mine Action Center of the Russian Armed Forces in the UN system, and attraction of Russian female servicemen for the work at command and staff posts in the UN missions, according to the Defense Ministry.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said later on Wednesday that Loitey had held a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin to discuss the UN secretary general's initiatives in the area of peacekeeping and the activity of several UN missions, including the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights.
"The interlocutors exchanged opinions on increasing the effectiveness of the UN peacekeeping activity. Both sides expressed interest to the Collective Security Treaty Organization's (CSTO) joining this [activity]. They discussed the secretary general's initiatives in the area of peacekeeping and the activity of several UN missions, including the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website.
It was also reported that Loitey is also expected to attend "the CSTO peacekeeping drills Unbreakable Brotherhood (in Yekaterinburg on October 28 - November 4), on the sidelines of which he will also meet with members of the CSTO Secretariat and specific Russian institutions."