Trilateral contact group on Ukraine agrees on Steinmeier formula

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-02 14:26:20|Editor: Li Xia
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MINSK, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The contact group on Ukraine agreed Tuesday on a formula which envisages a ceasefire, withdrawal of troops and amnesty regarding the situation in the country's eastern Donbass region, said Martin Sajdik, special envoy for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The formula, named after incumbent German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, came after a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the Donbass situation, which consists of diplomats from Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE, said Sajdik.

The Steinmeier formula suggests the eastern Donbass region not controlled by Kiev should receive temporary special status for the period of local elections, which should be held under the Ukrainian law.

If the OSCE recognizes the elections to be free and fair, the law on the special status of Donbass should enter into force and operate on an ongoing basis.

The proposal is intended to accelerate the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Donbass settlement and a phased lifting of sanctions against Russia.

The Minsk agreements, reached in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively, are designed to peacefully end the conflict in Donbass. They envisage a ceasefire, a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the demarcation line, a prisoner exchange and local elections, among other measures.

The next meeting of the contact group will take place on Oct. 15, Sajdik said.