The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has called on the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops and illegal armed formations from the occupied Donbas to restore Ukraine's control over its international border for fair elections in the region.
"We welcome progress towards peace in eastern Ukraine and we call for reinstatement of Ukrainian control of its international border. Free and fair elections require withdrawing Russian-led forces and illegal armed formations from Ukraine's territory, and a secure environment. Russia needs to display the political will to make this happen," the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv wrote on Twitter on October 3.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday said the Ukrainian side at Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) talks in Minsk had responded to a letter from Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the TCG, Ambassador Martin Sajdik that the so-called "Steinmeier formula" on the peace settlement in Donbas was "pending approval."
"We responded to Mr. Sajdik's letter that we have been in the process of approval of the wording of the 'Steinmeier formula,'" Zelensky said.
"The 'Steinmeier formula' should be incorporated in a new law on special status [the law on special provisions of local self-government in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions], which is not ready yet," Zelensky said.
According to the president, a new law will be developed by the Parliament in close cooperation and open discussion with the public and no "red line" will be crossed in the new law.
At the same time, Zelensky says that local elections in Donbas can only take place under Ukrainian law and only after the troops are withdrawn.
As regards the timing of the withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied territories of Donbas and the prevention of holding the elections before the withdrawal, Zelensky said that it would be discussed during the Normandy summit.