The occupation authorities of Donbass demanded "direct dialogue" with the "DNR/LNR" from President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and stated that they themselves would decide how to conduct local elections. This is stated in a joint statement by leaders of the "republics" Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, who commented on the fact that Ukraine signed the "Steinmeier formula".
The statement in terms of an ultimatum said that by signing this formula, Ukraine confirmed that "it recognizes the special right of the people of Donbass to independently determine their fate".
"We ourselves will decide what language to speak, what our economy will be like, how our judicial system will be formed, how our "people's militia" will protect our citizens (illegal armed formations of the republics – OstroV) and how we will integrate with Russia", - the separatist leaders state.
Pushilin and Pasechnik require the Ukrainian president not to dictate them the conditions for a further settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In particular, they criticized his statement that local elections in the Donbass will be held only after Ukraine gains control over the border. "He does not understand that it is not for him to decide when the elections will be held, but for us. The Kyiv authorities will not get any control over the border", - the "heads" categorically stated.
Regarding the adoption of the new version of the law on the special status of the occupied Donbass by the Verkhovna Rada, the leaders of the "republics" require that any changes be agreed with them. "Otherwise, we will consider them a direct and flagrant violation of the Minsk agreements, and they will be null and void for us", - they stated.
In this context, Pushilin and Pasechnik once again stated that "if President of Ukraine Volodymyr wants to achieve peaceful coexistence with the "DNR" and "LNR", he must enter into direct dialogue with the occupation authorities.
On October 1, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukraine agreed on the text of the "Steinmeier formula" in Minsk. Now, according to him, the "Steinmeier formula" should be implemented in the new law on the special status of Donbass.
As previously reported, the Minsk agreements, first of all, provide for the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine by providing the temporarily occupied territories of Donbass with the status of "areas with a special order of local self-government". As for the local elections, according to the Minsk agreements, they should be held according to Ukrainian legislation. Such concepts like the "DNR" or "LNR", as well as the names of any positions of "heads of republics", do not appear in the Minsk documents at all.