Ukraine's foreign minister "already agreed" to "Steinmeier formula" of Donbas settlement
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko on Wednesday, Sept 18, announced that he had already agreed to the so-called "Steinmeier formula" to resolve the situation in the occupied part of Donbas.
The statement came as the minister spoke at a joint meeting of parliamentary committees on European integration and foreign affairs, European Pravda reports.
"We agreed on the Steinmeier formula at the meeting of advisers held on September 2, and I can cite what I agreed to. The law on the special status [for the currently occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions] shall come into force in its previous format at the time of the elections, and ultimately come into force after the decision of the OSCE/ODIHR [on the recognition of elections as fair]," said Prystaiko.
"This is what is written in the decision. There is nothing else there. It is necessary that all parties represented at this table, all media represented here, have access to the elections, and so on. Only then can the elections be recognized as corresponding to OSCE standards," the minister added.
As reported earlier, Russia requires Ukraine to officially confirm in writing the application of the so-called "Steinmeier formula" as a condition for the holding of the Normandy Four Summit (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France).
Based on this, Prystaiko’s agreement to the formula at the meeting on Sept 2 was a preliminary one – it was about agreeing on the text of the formula, not about its official approval by the State of Ukraine.
Earlier, former Ukrainian President and Ukraine's representative to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) at the Minsk talks on Donbas Leonid Kuchma said it was up to the Normandy Four leaders to take an agreed decision on the so-called "Steinmeier formula," which was being discussed at meetings of the TCG's political subgroup in Minsk.
U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has said the so-called "Steinmeier formula" could be applied only after free and fair elections have been held in the occupied districts in Donbas.