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Protests against ‘Steinmeier Formula’ take place across Ukraine

According to the media, protests have been held in Kiev, Lvov, Kharkov, Zaporozhye and Mariupol

KIEV, October 2. /TASS/. Protests against the so-called "Steinmeier Formula" that Kiev’s representatives approved at a meeting in Minsk on Tuesday have taken place across Ukraine.

The UNN news agency reported that protests had been held in Kiev, Lvov, Kharkov, Zaporozhye and Mariupol. According to media reports, each of the rallies involved several hundred people.

"An improvised protest against the so-called ‘Steinmeier Formula’ took place in front of the Ukrainian Security Service’s office in the Lvov region. Head of the regional National Corps handed protesters’ demands over to the regional deputy administration head and an SBU officer," the Lvov region’s National Corps said in a statement on Facebook. "National Militia Units" in the Kharkov region also wrote on Facebook about holding a protest rally.

Nationalists demand that Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko and Kiev’s Envoy to the Contact Group on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine Leonid Kuchma step down " and a criminal investigation be opened into them "if the document is signed on Russia’s terms.

On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, several hundred members of nationalist parties held rallies in the government quarter in downtown Kiev, protesting against the implementation of the Steinmeier Formula.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is expected to address the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) later on Wednesday in order to explain the move to approve the Steinmeier Formula.

Meanwhile, the Batkivshchina (of Fatherland) party led by former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Golos (or Voice) party and former President Pyotr Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party have slammed the Steinmeier Formula as unacceptable.

Following the Contact Group’s meeting on Tuesday, Russian Envoy Boris Gryzlov said all parties had agreed that the Steinmeier Formula would become part of Ukraine’s legislation. According to Gryzlov, "a procedure to enforce the law on the special status of certain areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions has been approved."

Steinmeier formula

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.