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Signing of Steinmeier formula is a positive step, says Russia’s top senator

Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko stated that the decision of the Ukrainian government to adhere to all points of the Steinmeier formula is long overdue

TASHKENT, October 2. /TASS/. The signing of the Steinmeier formula by Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) is a positive step that must not be misinterpreted, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko stated.

"In my opinion, the signing of the Steinmeier formula by Kiev, the DPR and the LPR is definitely a positive step. <…> I hope that further actions will not be misinterpreted. This formula describes everything clearly, step-by-step," Matviyenko told reporters on Wednesday on the outcomes of the meeting with Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

She added that the decision of the Ukrainian government to adhere to all points of the Steinmeier formula is long overdue.

During a meeting on Tuesday, all members of the Contact Group for settlement in eastern Ukraine signed the Steinmeier formula, a source close to the negotiations told TASS. According to the source, Ukrainian envoy Leonid Kuchma signed the document approved earlier by the aides to Normandy Four leaders. Representatives of Russia, Donbass republics and the OSCE also signed the document. The sides also agreed to disengage forces on the line of contact in Petrovskoye and Zolotoye.

Opponents of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in the Ukrainian parliament have demanded an explanation of the decision to approve the Steinmeier formula and its contents.

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 a 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. The idea was endorsed at the Normandy Four meeting in Paris on October 2, 2015, and has been known as the Steinmeier formula since.