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Contact Group puts ‘Steinmeier formula’ on agenda of November meeting

As of today, the top priority is to continue the work that the Contact Group has begun earlier in Berlin

MINSK, November 9. /TASS/. The Contact Group seeking to find a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine has put discussions on political issues, in particular on the so-called ‘Steinmeier formula’ to grant special status to Donbass, on the agenda of the meeting scheduled for November 23, Russian Plenipotentiary Representative at the Minsk peace talks Boris Gryzlov said on Wednesday after the Group’s regular meeting in the Belarussian capital.

"As for implementation of the Minsk Accords related to the political process, first of all, the law on special status for relevant areas is meant to come into force," Gryzlov said. "Everybody realizes that it has become an absolutely key element to resolve the situation. Moreover, it might come into force on a compromise basis in line with the so-called ‘Steinmeier formula,’ which we are going to discuss at the next meeting of the Contact Group (on November 23)."

"As of today, the top priority is to continue the work that the Contact Group has begun earlier and that should reach its logical end," he said.

"I mean, in particular, a solution to disengagement of troops and weapons, carried out near the settlements of Zolotoye and Petrovskoye respectively," Gryzlov went on to say. "However, 40 days have passed since the agreement on disengagement of troops and weapons was signed. More to it, we are actually facing official Kiev’s sabotage near Stanitsa Luganskaya."

In this connection, the Russian envoy noted that the leaders of the ‘Normandy Four’ group (comprising Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) had agreed at the Berlin summit to give go-ahead in this direction.

"I am convinced that disengagement of troops and weapons in the areas that were earlier agreed will open an opportunity to solve further issues in the security aspect," he said. "Ukraine has no right to forget it."

Besides, Gryzlov noted that "under contrived pretexts, Ukraine has not delegated its representative to the meeting of the economic subgroup for the fourth time, thus ignoring the most crucial issues of Donbass restoration."

Along with this, Gryzlov pointed to the need to accelerate work on disengagement of troops and weapons in the conflict zone, where, according to him, Kiev was sabotaging the prior agreements related to Stanitsa Luganskaya.

On September 21, in Minsk, the members of the Contact Group signed a framework agreement on the disengagement of armed forces in three pilot areas of Donbass. The document stipulates the order of the disengagement near the Petrovskoye (DPR), Stanitsa Luganskaya settlements (LPR) and the town of Zolotoye (LPR). The disengagement process has been completed in the Petrovskoye and Zolotoye areas. No units have been withdrawn from Stanitsa Luganskaya so far.