MOSCOW, October 24./TASS/. The latest public statements by the head of the Ukrainian delegation at the talks in the Belarusian capital, Leonid Kuchma, once again demonstrated that Ukraine is not going to abide by the Minsk agreements, Director of the Russian Center for Current Politics Alexei Chesnakov told TASS on Thursday.
"Firstly, fulfilling the items on the security track must be synchronized step by step with the implementation of the political section of the Minsk agreements," the foreign policy specialist said. "This is necessary in any peace process, and it is strange that Kuchma neither understands it, nor does he want to," Chesnakov stressed.
"Secondly, before synchronizing something, it is essential to show how Ukraine is going to fulfill its political obligations. This ‘creative input’ from Kuchma can be simply shrugged off, since what the Ukrainian side is now suggesting runs counter to the Minsk accords and has not been discussed with the Donbass republics," he noted.
"It would be more productive if Kiev did its necessary homework instead of coming up with ‘creative ideas’. Otherwise, it will be the same as it was with the Steinmeier Formula. They will sign it anyway, but they will only lose time. However, maybe this is precisely what Kucha wants," he went on to say.
"Then it remains to be understood whether President Zelensky knows that his envoy to the Contact Group acts as a ‘personal brake’ on the peace process and whether he also bears responsibility as president for Kuchma’s sabotage?" the political guru mused.
On Wednesday, Leonid Kuchma met with a delegation of official EU diplomats reiterating that security issues in the eastern Ukraine settlement were priority ones, while resolving the political issues could be only tackled once the security questions had been solved.
In late 2015, then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier put forward a plan that later became known as the "Steinmeier formula". The blueprint stipulates that a special status be granted to Donbass in accordance with the Minsk Agreements. In particular, the document envisages that Ukraine’s special law on local self-governance will take effect in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on a temporary basis on the day of local elections, becoming permanent after the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) issues a report on the vote’s results.
On October 1, Minsk hosted a regular meeting of the Contact Group to achieve a peace deal in southeast Ukraine. At the gathering, the head of the Ukrainian delegation, Leonid Kuchma, penned a letter to the OSCE setting out the "Steinmeier formula" in the way it is supposed to be embedded in Ukrainian legislation.