Ukraine has agreed to the Steinmeier Formula, which envisages a special status for the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces after democratic elections have been held there, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko at a joint session of the Verkhovna Rada’s foreign policy and Euro-integration committees.
He said that the Steinmeier Formula was agreed on at a meeting between the Normandy Format advisors on September 2.
“The Normandy Format advisors agreed to a specific text, which stipulates that the special status law will come into force ‘in a provisional format’ the moment elections are held. And this law will come into force definitively once the OSCE ODIHR rules that the elections were held in accordance with the OSCE’s high standards,” Interfax-Ukraine cites Prystaiko as saying.
The Foreign Minister emphasized that there are no other details about the agreement from September 2. “Not how the elections will be held, not who will hold them for whom, not that they will be held at gunpoint or when control is obtained over the border,” he said, adding that any more specific reports are purely speculation and an “understandable human reaction”.
Prystaiko also said that the Normandy Format advisors had agreed to use three previously agreed demarcation lines as the basis for separating forces in the Donbas conflict zone.
“I know that our Russian partners, I mean negotiation partners, put forward a third proposal, to coordinate a document that will be signed by the leaders. It sounds logical, but even that point we, the four advisors, including the Russian representative, did not discuss,” he added.
Ukraine passed a law on a “special manner of local self-governance” in the separate Donetsk and Luhansk regions as early as Autumn 2014. In 2015, amendments were made to it which prevented it from coming into force – the new provisions stipulated that the special status would only be effective after democratic elections and the withdrawal of mercenaries.