Kiev’s representatives have refused to sign the so-called "Steinmeier formula" at a meeting in Minsk on Wednesday, putting plans to hold a Normandy Four summit at risk of failure, a source familiar with talks within the Contact Group on resolving the Donbass conflict told TASS.
"The Contact Group’s meeting was focused on the agreements that the aides to the leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine had reached during recent consultations in Berlin, which particularly stipulated that a document on the implementation of the ‘Steinmeier formula’ be signed at today’s meeting so that the disengagement of forces may begin near the Petrovskoye and Zolotoye settlements," the source said. "However, the Ukrainian delegation refused to sign the document, putting preparations for a Normandy Four summit at risk of failure," he said.
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 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) publishes a report on the vote’s results.
Center for Current Politics Director Alexei Chesnakov said earlier in an interview with TASS that a Normandy Four summit could not take place unless Kiev signed documents recognizing the "Steinmeier formula."