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Poroshenko says no agreed upon 'Steinmeier formula' exists

According to him, Steinmeier’s proposal on Donbass was about the implementation of a number of conditions
Pyotr Poroshenko AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
Pyotr Poroshenko
© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

KIEV, September 22. /TASS/. Ukraine’s former president, Pyotr Poroshenko has claimed there has never been an agreed Steinmeier formula, a plan to regulate the procedure of local elections in war-torn Donbass.

The conflict settlement formula for Donbass that was proposed by the then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in late 2015 envisages the enforcement of the Ukrainian law on a special procedure of local self-government on certain territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on a temporary basis on the day of local elections in Donbass, and on a permanent basis after the OSCE publishes a report on their results.

"There has never been any Steinmeier agreement. It doesn’t exist. There has never been any Steinmeier formula allegedly agreed with anyone," Poroshenko said in an interview with Ukraine 5 Channel TV.

According to Poroshenko, Steinmeier’s proposal on Donbass was about the implementation of a number of conditions. Thus, a security component was to be formed in Donbass and "flawless organization of elections" was to be ensured first and only in this event the OSCE would be able to recognize these elections as free, democratic and meeting the organization’s criteria. With these conditions met, the law on special status was to be enforced on the day of elections, not two weeks after them, Poroshenko said recalling Steinmeier’s initiative.

In Poroshenko’s words, no other positions on these proposals have ever been voiced back then.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko said earlier that Kiev could not sign the Steinmeier formula text on September 18 in Minsk because of a "technical misunderstanding." He said that Kiev’s negotiator Leonid Kuchma had said that "something might be added or removed" from the text.

After the Wednesday meeting of the Contact Group, Russia’s chief negotiator Boris Gryzlov said that Kiev’s representatives had refused to sign the Steinmeier formula. This way, in his words, Kiev had frustrated a resolution on the disengagement of forces in Petrovskoye and Zolotoye and had called to question a Normandy Quartet summit as its condition was a positive result in the two above mentioned areas.