1 October 2019, 18:47
Kiev representatives in Minsk sign “Steinmeier formula”
LUGANSK, October 1 (Lugansk Media Centre) - Ukraine’s official representative to the Contact Group in Minsk Leonid Kuchma signed the Donbass settlement Steinmeier formula at the Contact Group meeting on Tuesday.
“Leonid Kuchma who represented Kiev at the meeting signed the documents which had been coordinated by advisors to the “Normandy Four” leaders,” the Russian news agency Tass reported.
The document was also signed by representatives of the Donbass Republics, Russia and the OSCE.
“All the parties signed the letters notifying the OSCE that each supported the formula and its implementation,” Tass said.
The Steinmeier formula which sets forth a mechanism to give special status to Donbass was to have been signed at the previous meeting in Minsk on September 18. However, the Ukrainian delegation refused to sign the document in the last minute decision which made the other negotiators doubt Kiev’s readiness to coordinate the procedure for de-jure and de facto securing of special status, as required by the Minsk Agreements.
In October 2014, Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko signed the law on special order of local self governance in certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions which granted them special status for three years. However, Ukraine never applied the law.
Contrary to the Minsk Agreements and without coordinating his move with the Donbass Republics, Poroshenko introduced amendments to the law in March 2015 which in effect blocked its operation. In early 2016, the then German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier suggested a mechanism to enforce the law on Donbass special status on the day of local elections on a temporary basis, and permanently upon the OSCE publishing its report on the elections outcome.
The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements was adopted by the Contact Group on Ukraine on February 12, 2015 and supported by member states of the Normandy Four (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France). The UN Security Council approved the document by Resolution 2202 and called upon all the sides to ensure full implementation of the Package of Measures.
The document provides for comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons from the contact line, starting a dialog on reconstruction of social and economic ties between Kiev and Donbass. It also envisages carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine providing for decentralization and adopting permanent legislation on a special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
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