Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine insists that a meeting in the Normandy format at the level of heads of state should take place in September.

"We insist that this meeting must be held in September. We believe in that. We hope and we, together with our diplomatic 'army,' do everything for this meeting to be held as soon as possible," he said during a meeting with media representatives in Kyiv after the meeting with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö on Thursday, according to the president's press service.

"Because the end of war, the return of all our prisoners is a priority for me as President of Ukraine," Zelensky said.

"The Steinmeier formula and all the points of the Minsk agreements will be considered, the decision will be made by the leaders of four countries. As I said, we have to discuss all the points of the Minsk agreements," he said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko recently announced that Zelensky was ready to take part in a meeting of the Normandy Four leaders in September.

On Dec 21, 2016, German Ambassador to Ukraine Ernst Reichel said that the so-called "Steinmeier formula" provides for the consolidation in the Ukrainian legislation of the special status of Donbas. 

"This formula, which is the subject of discussion, provides that local elections will be held under the control and with the assistance of the OSCE. Then the OSCE must confirm that the elections were in line with international standards. If the OSCE confirms this, legislation on special status comes into force; if not, then it doesn't. There will be no special status for this territory," Reichel said. 

On July 4, 2017, Reichel stated that a ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons in Donetsk and Luhansk regions should precede the holding of local elections, which should lead to the beginning of a special procedure for launching a local government in Donbas. 

On June 18, 2018, the then-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, said that the "Steinmeier formula" was the logic of how the special regime of local government was to be applied.