Donbass special status remains pivotal condition for conflict settlement

Donbass special status remains pivotal condition for conflict settlement

19/09/18 - 15:02 - Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the Contact Group seeking a peace solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, noted some positive moments in the region, but pointed out that implementation of the political provisions of the Minsk peace accords -the Donbass special status law and amnesty- remain key factors behind a solution to the conflict.

MINSK - "The Contact Group heard a report of Ambassador Toni Frisch, the Coordinator of the Working Group, about his trip to the LPR [the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic]," Gryzlov said.

"On the whole, he gave a positive assessment to the conditions for detained persons and to the humanitarian situation in the republic."

Besides, according to Gryzlov, Ambassador Frisch hailed the situation with safe drinking water in the Donbass republics, which drastically improved. Nevertheless, "this cannot diminish for the Contact Group the fundamental issues of a political solution to the conflict," he stressed.

"The Russian delegation said that political measures stipulated by the Minsk agreements need to be discussed in detail," Gryzlov said.

"We have to reiterate that the Donbass special status introduced under the ‘Steinmeier formula’ along with amnesty are pivotal conditions for conflict settlement."

"Ukraine should start making steps, which are clearly set out in the Minsk accords, to legislatively grant special status to Donbass on the permanent basis," he concluded. In 2015, in a bid to find a way out of the deadlock when Kiev was blocking a law granting special status to Donbass, which is envisaged by the Minsk agreements, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the then German foreign minister, suggested a special procedure of its enforcement.

Thus, special status should be granted to this 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.

The idea, known as the ‘Steinmeier formula’, was approved at by Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine) meeting in Paris on October 2, 2015.

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