Donetsk, Feb 16 – DAN. The Minsk talks political subgroup has been in protracted crisis because of Ukraine, acting DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova said at a “round table” meeting in Moscow on Thursday, Russia’s Tass news agency reported.

“The political subgroup has been experiencing a crisis for a rather long time. The Steinmeier formula has been put on the agenda 14 times since September 2016, addressing special status of Donbass, i.e. the political prospect to which the Republics’ representatives agreed,” Nikonorova said.

“No headway has been made in discussing the issue,” she added.

According to DPR top diplomat, the first crisis hit the political subgroup back in summer 2015 as Kiev adopted, but never implemented the law on special status of Donbass. The Steinmeier formula was worked out to help break the deadlock envisioning a compromise on the part of DPR and LPR.

She underlined that the formula was approved both by the “Normandy Four” and Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko. However, Kiev refused to discuss the issue at Minsk talks resorting to various instruments, such as replacing representatives, disavowing earlier accords, refusing to sign documents or present Kiev’s official position and waiting for the “Normandy Four” reply.

“Over two years of operation of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, just one of 13 provisions of the document has been fulfilled, though formally. It is the 13th provision on setting up working group. Ukrainian representatives often block discussions,” Nikonorova said.

DPR and LPR representatives repeatedly stated after the recent Minsk talks that Ukraine deliberately protracted the political subgroup’s work by refusing to discuss Steinmeier formula implementation. DPR and LPR also urged a clear negotiating procedure in view of Ukraine’s inconsistency.

The formula suggested by former German Foreign Minister Frank –Walther Steinmeier (incumbent German president) outlines the principles of implementation of the Ukrainian law “On local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk region”. According to his plan, the law should be enforced on the day of local elections on a temporary basis, and permanently upon OSCE publishing its report on the elections outcome.*jk