“No capitulation, elections in Donbass will be held according to Ukrainian laws” - Zelensky at a special briefing on approval of Steinmeier Formula

Ukrainian News
Марина ПищулинаQHA media
02 October 2019, 11:47
Марина ПищулинаQHA media
02 October 2019, 11:47

“There will be no capitulation of Ukraine,” President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on reports that the Ukrainian side had agreed on the Steinmeier Formula in Minsk.

According to him, at yesterday's meeting of the Tripartite Contact Group, Ukraine stated its desire to return Ukrainian prisoners and begin the process of troop withdrawal near Petrovsky settlement of Donetsk region and Zolote settlement of Luhansk region.

The head of state noted that the withdrawal of the military will not affect the security of the civilian population.

Zelensky said that the elections in the ORDLO will be held in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, and after the publication of the OSCE report that the elections were held according to OSCE standards.

“This means that elections will not be held at gunpoint. Elections must be held in accordance with our law. We will never go to the polls if the military from Russia is present there. If there are any troops, no election will be held. There will be no capitulation,” the president said.

At the same time, he noted that in Ukraine the law on the special status of Donbass will be publicly discussed.

Zelensky went on saying that the date of the meeting of the leaders of the Normandy Four countries has not yet been agreed.

The reason why the Steinmeier Formula emerge is that the Minsk agreements do not indicate the sequence in which all the points indicated will be implemented: the cessation of hostilities, the holding of elections in the ORLDO, the reintegration of Donbass, disarmament of militants, transfer of borders under the control of Ukraine, the exchange of all hostages, the withdrawal of troops, etc. QHA media published a detailed article (available in Russian) on the Steinmeier Formula.

Thus Ukraine insists on the following sequence:

• A complete ceasefire in the Donbass by both sides - both by the Russian-occupying forces and the Ukrainian military.

• Withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territories, as well as complete disarmament of illegal units.

• The return of control over the border with Russia in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions to Ukraine, the possible introduction of UN and OSCE peacekeepers to the border.

• Conducting fair elections in accordance with Ukrainian law.

The former representative of Ukraine in the Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk, Roman Bezsmertnyi, said that a document containing the so-called Steinmeier Formula is being prepared for the heads of state of the Normandy format in Minsk, which contains Ukraine’s obligations to hold elections in the occupied territories of Donbass.