On 17Th Of October The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova Answered Some Questions Regarding The Situation Around Ukraine At Briefing:
Question: Which statements made by Ukrainian officials, is Moscow relying on for the upcoming Normandy Four summit? First, the Steinmeier Formula was signed and welcomed by Moscow, Berlin and Paris. Yesterday, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky said the Steinmeier Formula would be incorporated into the Ukrainian law on the special status of Donbass. How is this going to be done?
The press secretary of Leonid Kuchma who represents Ukraine on the Contact Group said the DPR and the LPR must be dissolved. What is this supposed to mean?
Maria Zakharova: I am glad you asked this question about which statements that sound from Ukraine should be taken into account. We proceed from the fact that, according to the international legal system, which has been shaken up but not yet completely destroyed, we should be guided by the statements made by the head of state, by representatives of the executive branch and officials authorised to address foreign policy issues – make officials statements and participate in negotiation processes.
So the Russian side, in this case, relies on the statements made by President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and by the representatives of the executive branch engaged in foreign policy matters and specifically this topic, namely the Minsk Agreements, the Contact Group, the Normandy format, etc. This is what we are guided by.
On the other hand, reacting to every statement coming from the Rada, from press secretaries of former presidents or current politicians from various branches of government, is a thankless job. It will not lead to any desired results. The practice of recent centuries suggests that a country first adopts a consolidated position on international matters, then implements it through appropriate institutions.
Your question is not entirely fair because you suggest that I should speculate on how this would be implemented in Ukrainian legislation. We discuss it a lot, and our position is well known. All that needs to be done is stipulated in the Minsk Agreements. The predicament official Kiev has been struggling with for several years has been resolved in the Steinmeier Formula, which should guarantee the observance of everyone’s interests without discriminating any of the parties.
Now this needs to be implemented through the appropriate steps that are also stipulated. The Minsk Agreements seem quite specific to me. One just needs to find the courage and consolidate society for their implementation. So this question is not for me, but for representatives of Kiev.
That was an unofficial statement; at least, we do not consider it as reflecting Kiev’s position in general. I don’t know why it was made – as an answer to a question or a special statement – but I admit that I saw it.
We have repeatedly said that there are many such statements. How much they help society or the country progress towards consolidation based on the Minsk Agreements is anybody’s guess. In our opinion, such statements jeopardise the primary goals of implementing the Minsk Agreements and recreating the atmosphere of trust between people living in different regions of Ukraine and having various visions of the future of Ukrainian society.
So I believe in this case, we must primarily rely on Ukraine’s consolidated position voiced at the appropriate levels, and secondly on the declared priority – highlighted in all the campaign speeches of the current team – of moving towards peace and giving the country a chance for a future on the basis of, inter alia, the Minsk Agreements. This priority should be consistently followed without any deviation. And such statements certainly have no added value for this process. Or they need to decrypt what they meant. We saw only a fragment of the phrase. Maybe there was something else to it, some philosophical content. It is difficult to figure out who meant what and how they plan to implement what was declared. As it is, questions arise that cause even greater distrust and greater antagonism, although these people seem to declare a commitment to come to some kind of common vision for future reconsolidation.
Embassy of the Russian Federation