16 Sep 2019 12:32

Recognition of Steinmeier formula by Kyiv precondition of Normandy-format summit - political analyst

MOSCOW/DONETSK. Sept 16 (Interfax) - A summit between the leaders of the countries involved in the Normandy-format negotiations on Donbas may be arranged only if Kyiv guarantees recognition of the Steinmeier formula, Center for Current Policy Director Alexei Chesnakov said.

"The signature of documents in the Minsk Contact Group within the next few days on Kyiv's recognition of the Steinmeier formula is a precondition of a Normandy-format summit," Chesnakov told Interfax on Monday.

However, Kyiv has not manifested any willingness to grant special status to Donbas so far, he said.

"Leonid Kuchma's [former Ukrainian president, currently Kyiv's representative in the Trilateral Contact Group for Donbas] and [Ukrainian Foreign Minister] Vadym Prystaiko's latest statements on Ukraine's refusal to grant special status to particular districts in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions must be interpreted unambiguously as an indication that Kyiv is not really intending to implement the Minsk Agreements," Chesnakov said.

The same people in Kyiv have said both that they are determined to implement the Steinmeier formula and that they are not prepared to grant special status to Donbas, he said.

"However, denying Donbas's special status denies the Steinmeier formula as well. Otherwise, it looks like absolute stupidity and deceit on Ukraine's part - after all, you cannot agree upon a mechanism of enacting legislation on special status without the intention to grant this special status later," Chesnakov said.

Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin told journalists on Monday that "any amendments or adjustments to the text of the Minsk Agreements are out of the question."

Pushilin commented thus on a statement by new Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko that "Kyiv is not going to make amendments to its constitution concerning the granting of special status to Donbas."

Pushilin pointed out that "the clauses on granting special status and not prosecuting individuals involved in the events in Donbas are stipulated in the Package of Measures, which the UN Security Council supported in a mandatory resolution."

The Steinmeier formula is named after incumbent German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, former German foreign minister. It envisions that, before elections are held in Donetsk and Luhansk, their special status would be applied provisionally and would assume full legal effect only after elections and the publication of a final report by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) attesting that these elections were held in line with democratic principles.