The "Steinmeier formula" had been agreed by the previous government, while the one currently in office plans to implement it, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told journalists in Luxembourg following a meeting of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.
"This Steinmeier formula was not invented and agreed upon by this government. Unlike the previous government, we are simply fulfilling what Ukraine has already agreed to. This is a painful compromise – we are aware of and we hear every word voiced against it – but, at the same time, we hope that we can walk this path without getting too far and damaging our sovereignty and territorial integrity more than we already have," Prystaiko said, according to RFE/RL.
Prystaiko considers the implementation of the formula "the path to peace", an alternative to which he names full mobilization.
"If it's a price our people can accept, we do it. If not, we must know – for example, I’ve already told, addressed our deputies, if they take this seriously, we take a third of our budget from pensions, salaries, medical insurance, and channel the money toward mobilization of our army and try to defend ourselves without a peace process. All these options are on the table for the Ukrainian people, but the government has an obligation to select and propose the best of these solutions," the minister said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on October 1, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Ukrainian side at the negotiations of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk responded to a letter from the OSCE Special Representative, Martin Sajdik, agreeing to the so-called "Steinmeier formula" of Donbas settlement.
The harmonization of the formula's wording caused a public outcry in Ukraine.
Later the same day, a picket took place outside the Presidential Office in Kyiv.
On October 3, in a video address to the nation, Zelensky said that the formula should be implemented in the new law on a special procedure for local governance in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which the Verkhovna Rada will draft in close cooperation with the public. He added that no "red lines" would be crossed.
The president explained that the Steinmeier formula gives an answer to the question of when the law "On the special procedure of local governance in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions" should come into force, and noted that it does not imply recognition by Ukraine of the annexation of Crimea and local elections in Donbas held "at gunpoint".
Zelensky also assured that local elections will not take place if troops remain in Donbas, and stated that the issue of the withdrawal of the Russian military from the occupied Donbas should be discussed in a Normandy format (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France).
On October 6, rallies were held in Kyiv and across Ukraine where activists spoke up against the implementation of the Steinmeier formula, branding it "surrender of Ukraine."