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No Plan B for implementation of Minsk accords — Lavrov

Lavrov also ruled out any possibility of reviewing the basic principles of the Minsk agreements
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. There could be no contingency plan to implement the Minsk agreements, as they remain the cornerstone in resolving the crisis in southeast Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a televised interview on Channel One, released by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

"There could be no Plan B. The Minsk accords is the foundation on which everything should be built," he said.

The minister pointed out that the ‘Steinmeier formula’ is already a compromise to the Minsk accords, since it envisions the special status of Donbass should be approved not prior to, but after local elections in the region.

"Therefore, there should be no deviations from the fundamental principles of the Minsk agreements, including amnesty, special status enshrined in the constitution, disengagement of forces, full restoration of economic relations, and lifting of the blockade which totally runs counter to the Minsk agreements," the Russian foreign minister stressed. "This all remains unchanged. There will be no success without it."

On Tuesday, after a regular round of talks of the Contact Group that seeks solutions to the conflict in Donbass, Russian Plenipotentiary Representative Boris Gryzlov said that the participants had agreed ‘the Steinmeier formula’ should be added to Ukrainian legislation. Gryzlov said, "thus, [they] negotiated a procedure for the law on special status for certain areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions to come into force."

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s opponents at the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, demanded the president and the government clarify their decision to approve the ‘Steinmeier formula’ and its contents, including amnesty and special status of Donbass. Protesters have been rallying against the ‘Steinmeier formula’ outside the Kiev administration for the second day.

In 2015, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the then German foreign minister, suggested a special procedure to enforce special status to Donbass. Thus, special status should be granted to that region of Ukraine first on a temporary basis on the day of local elections there. Special status will be granted permanently after the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) publishes a report confirming the legitimacy of election results.