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15 Oct 2019

Trilateral contact group on Ukraine convenes for session in Minsk

MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – The trilateral contact group on resolving the situation in Ukraine’s east has convened for a meeting in Minsk, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Meetings of the working groups of the trilateral contact group took place before that.

The previous meeting of the trilateral contact group took place in Minsk on 1 October. The members of the group and representatives of certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions confirmed the text of the ‘Steinmeier formula’.

Despite not being part of the Minsk Agreements, the Steinmeier formula proceeds from them. It envisages ceasefire, separation of forces, amnesty, and local elections under the supervision of the OSCE. It also pertains to the date for the special status of certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions to come into force.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier proposed the formula during his time as German foreign minister in February 2015. He suggested a procedure for the entry into force of the law on granting special status to certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. According to the idea, it would be granted on a temporary basis on the day of the early elections. It will become permanent after the publication of the OSCE/ODIHR report confirming the legitimacy of the election results.

The idea was endorsed at the Normandy Four meeting in Paris on 2 October 2015. Since then, it has been called the Steinmeier formula.

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