MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/. The refusal of Ukrainian representatives in the Contact Group to sign the Steinmeier formula runs counter to the previous agreements and confirms once again that proper preparations must be made before a summit of the Normandy Quartet (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) may take place, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Thursday.
"Yesterday’s situation [at the Contact Group meeting] proved Russian President Vladimir Putin’s position correct once again. A meeting for a meeting’s sake can hardly be productive. Enormous preparatory work must be done before getting together," Peskov said, adding that preparations "encounter difficulties."
"Questions are emerging over whether we remain within the framework of understanding and confirming the previously achieved agreements. The work is to be continued," he stated.
"We know that the Steinmeier formula was not linked to any preconditions. Accordingly, [Kiev’s] conditions [for signing a document] is a new factor for all countries that previously declared their agreement with that formula," Peskov stressed.
Asked if the Kremlin linked this situation with the question of holding the Normandy Quartet’s summit, Peskov said once again that the leaders’ meeting "must be productive," and for that "inventorying must be carried out in the first place in order to confirm the agreements that were concluded earlier."
"In the past everybody agreed with the Steinmeier formula. No preconditions were put forward… Now the Ukrainian side has changed its stance… This does not fit in with the previously achieved and confirmed agreements," Peskov said.
He added that "this work must go on," but it remains to be seen how it may proceed in a situation when Kiev constantly changes its position.
"In any case, this does not promote fast progress," Peskov said.
The Steinmeier formula is a mechanism of granting a special status to Donbass outlined in the Minsk Accords. Russia’s permanent representative in the Contact Group, Boris Gryzlov, said that Kiev at the group’s latest meeting in Minsk disrupted the implementation of the agreements of the Normandy Quartet leaders’ advisors by refusing to put its signature to the Steinmeier formula. Gryzlov said Kiev jeopardized the Normandy Quartet’s summit.