MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s statement that Ukraine should adopt a new law on a special Donbass status could signal Kiev’s drive to disavow its signing of the Steinmeier formula, Director of the Russian Center for Current Politics Alexei Chesnakov, who is familiar with the talks, told TASS on Wednesday.
"Zelensky’s statement that a new law on a special status of Donbass would be passed, arouses concerns," Chesnakov said. "This is reminiscent of Poroshenko’s behavior, who immediately sought to disavow his own steps in order to puzzle and con everyone. On the one hand, Zelensky signs the Steinmeier formula that guarantees a special status for Donbass. But on the other hand, he immediately announces that this is not a special status, but some other new status, but it is still unclear which one."
This mirrors Poroshenko’s drive to dilute the Minsk process, reduce it to imitation and even nonsense, the expert stressed. "Certainly, neither Russia nor Donbass will recognize any new law on a special status unless they coordinate it. The Ukrainian president should submit his ideas for discussion of the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany) and the Contact Group," he said.
Russia's envoy to the Contact Group Boris Gryzlov said that the parties to the meeting on Tuesday had endorsed "the Steinmeier formula", noting that "thus we have coordinated how the law on special status for certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions will be implemented."
President Zelensky told a news conference later that the Steinmeier formula had to be implemented in a new law on a special status. He said the current law on Donbass special status would be in force until December 31 and a new law would be drawn up by the parliament in close coordination and after a discussion with the public.