KIEV, October 3. /TASS/. About 2,000 people gathered outside the Ukrainian president’s office in Kiev on Wednesday evening to demand that President Vladimir Zelensky reject the Steinmeier’s formula on Ukrainian reconciliation.
The event was organized by the Democratic Axe party. However, some of the protesters were wearing party symbols of ex-president Pyotr Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party and the Voice party led by singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, as well as logos of several nationalist movements.
A TASS correspondent reported from the scene that participants of the rally put forward a series of demands which they say would help to avert the "capitulation of Ukraine."
The demands include prohibiting any special legal status that limits the country’s sovereignty or nationwide laws on separate territories and barring amnesty for "members of illegal armed groups, who committed grave crimes on the territory of Ukraine."
Besides, protesters say that the authorities must prohibit "all members of illegal armed groups or collaborationist administrations" from being elected to official posts.
Other demands include banning any paramilitary or regional armed groups in the country and outlawing the recognition of any election on territories which are not under military or administrative control of the Kiev government.
Similar protests were earlier held in several regions and regional capitals in Ukraine, including Kharkov.
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.