MOSCOW, September 18./TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his German counterpart Heiko Maas have discussed in a phone call prospects for the implementation of the Minsk agreements given the outcome of the talks of the Contact Group on the settlement in the east of Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a report.
The diplomats "discussed prospects for the implementation of the Minsk package of measures for the settlement in Ukraine in the situation, when proposals considered at a meeting of the foreign policy advisers to the Normandy Format countries’ leaders, were not supported by the Kiev representative to a session of the Contact Group in Minsk on September 18, 2019," the ministry said.
News came earlier in the day that at a regular meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk that was expected to in fact initial the text of the "Steinmeier formula", the Ukrainian delegation refused to ink it. Practically at the same time, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristayko said in parliament that he had given his approval to the so-called "Steinmeier formula" on giving Donbass a special status within Ukraine.
In late 2015, then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier put forward a plan that later became known as the "Steinmeier formula." The plan stipulates that 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 Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) issues a report on the vote’s results.