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'Steinmeier formula' to be put into law on special status for Donbass, says Zelensky

The law is to be approved by the parliament before the year-end after being discussed with the public, the Ukrainian president informed

KIEV, October 1. /TASS/. Ukraine has coordinated the ‘Steinmeier formula’ with the other participants in the negotiations on the Donbass settlement, and now it has to be added to a new law on a special status for the region, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told a briefing on Tuesday.

"We have replied to a letter from Mr. [Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Martin] Sajdik, saying that we are coordinating the text of the ‘Steinmeier formula’," he said. "The Steinmeier formula must be implemented into a new law on a special status," he reported.

The law is to be approved by the parliament before the year-end after being discussed with the public, Zelensky added. "We will have a new law, that will be drafted by the parliament in close cooperation with the pubic after a public discussion," the president stressed. "No red lines will be crossed in it, and that is why there will be no capitulation," he pledged.

All members of the Contact Group for the settlement in eastern Ukraine approved the ‘Steinmeier formula’ at the Tuesday’s session, Russian envoy to the group Boris Gryzlov said after the meeting.

"The sides have approved the order of implementing the law on special status for areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. We have managed to overcome the resistance of the Ukrainian delegation, which stalled the signing of this formula during the previous session of the Contact Group," he said.

Sources close to the Minsk talks have told TASS that "all parties signed letters to the OSCE with a notification that each party supported the formula and its implementation." They specified that Ukraine’s envoy to the Contact Group Leonid Kuchma had put his signature.

Steinmeier formula

In late 2015, the then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier put forward a plan that later became known as the "Steinmeier formula." This roadmap stipulates that a special status be granted to Donbass in accordance with the Minsk deal. 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.