Ukrainian President Zelensky: Donbas won't become Ukrainian Transnistria
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the Ukrainian publication Segodnya that the law on the "special status" of the Donbas will lead to the surrendering of these territories.
"Everyone understands that no one will surrender this territory, and no one wants us to have our own Transnistria... But it is impossible to solve this question without discussing different options. This issue cannot be resolved without a ceasefire and negotiations," said Ukrainian President.
Earlier, Zelensky said that the implementation of the Steinmeier Formula is possible only with the new law on the "special status" of the Donbas, which will be discussed in the case of a constructive meeting of the Normandy Four leaders.
Normandy Four includes the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany. The exact date of the Normandy Four Summit is still unknown, but Kyiv hopes that it will take place in November.
Earlier, the Kremlin announced the suspension of preparations for the Summit, "as the position of one of the parties is changing."
At a press conference in Kyiv on October 1, President Zelensky said that Ukraine had agreed to the text of the Steinmeier Formula at the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk.
He emphasized that elections could only take place in the occupied Donbas territories if Kyiv is given full control of the parts of the Russian border in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are currently not under its control.
On September 12, Zelensky said that Kyiv would insist on a Normandy Format session in September. He said that the leaders of the four represented countries would discuss the “Steinmeier Formula and all aspects of the Minsk Agreements”.
The formula was proposed by former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He said that the Donbas should be given a “special status” on the day that elections are held in the occupied territories, with the simultaneous withdrawal of illegal armed groups.