MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Kiev’s latest statements on its refusal to grant a special status to Donbass should be viewed as a proof that Ukraine has no real intentions to fulfill the Minsk peace deal, Director of the Center for Current Policy Alexei Chesnakov told TASS on Monday.
"At exactly the same time the same people in Kiev declare their readiness to implement the Steinmeier formula and non-readiness to grant a special status to Donbass," Chesnakov said. "But rejecting the special status of Donbass dismisses the Steinmeier formula as well. Otherwise, this points to absolute foolishness and deception on the part of Ukraine — it is impossible to agree on a mechanism on enacting the law on a special status without the plans on granting this special status in the future," he noted.
The expert also highlighted that the signing of documents as part of the Minsk Contact Group in the coming days on Kiev’s recognition of the Steinmeier formula was a condition for holding the Normandy Four summit.
In February 2015, participants of the Contact Group for settling the crisis in Donbass signed the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, known as Minsk-2, which had been earlier backed by the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) leaders. The document envisages a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed Donbass republics and a subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. A constitutional reform and the decentralization of powers in Ukraine are among the key points of this document. The deal stipulates holding local elections in the areas with a special status, in coordination with the region’s representatives and in line with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s standards.
Former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s formula to settle the Donbass conflict, which he put forward in late 2015, envisages the implementation of the Ukrainian legislation on a special local self-government rule in some areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on a temporary basis during local election in Donbass, and on a permanent basis after the publication of the OSCE’s report on its results.