Kiev: Michael Carpenter cautioned that the “Steinmeier formula” that Europe wants to impose on Ukraine is focused on removing Russia's responsibility for the war and forcing Kiev to do business with Kremlin proteges in the Donbas.
The ex-deputy assistant secretary of defense, and now the senior director of the Center for Diplomacy and Global Interaction, said this in a comment to a Ukrinform correspondent.
“This is a very dangerous path”, the expert described attempts to impose a scenario on Ukraine according to the so-called “Steinmeier formula”.
He explained that the then head of the German Foreign Affairs Ministry actually proposed to forget the most important prerequisites laid down in the Minsk Agreements of 2015, and immediately proceed to the elections in the Donbass and granting special status to the occupied territories. As the expert specified, it is about a ceasefire in the Donbass, the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops, as well as ensuring the presence of the OSCE mission in the occupied territories of Donbass and the restoration of the sovereignty of Ukraine.
“Without regaining control of the international border, Ukraine will not have sovereignty in these territories. This is extremely important”, Carpenter emphasized.
In addition, he drew attention to how the concept of the Steinmeier formula is introduced. "In the context of international discussions, it comes down to pressure on Ukraine, not Russia. After all, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel focus on what to expect from a special status (Donbass - ed.)", Said the former Pentagon adviser.
He emphasized that in this rhetoric there is no attention paid to Russia's role in the negotiations. "This is very annoying, and I think that the next Summit in the Normandy format, frankly, will become a bit of a trap for Ukraine", - Carpenter noted.
According to him, Russia, on the contrary, only wins with such a development of events, since such an approach removes Moscow from responsibility as a party and instigator of the conflict.
"This formula forces Ukraine to speak directly with the separatists. This is a loss for Ukraine because the separatists will refuse to do what we consider to be free and fair electoral procedures, and Russia will say:" Well, you have to negotiate with these people in these territories. We are not there, speak with them" - said the expert.
He added that the international community, for its part, will put pressure on the Ukrainian government. "They say that they (the separatists - ed.) Control this territory, so do everything you can", - said Carpenter.
As Ukrinform reported, on Thursday in Washington a conference was held on the topic “Ukraine’s quest for the maturity of a sovereign nation” with the participation of Ukrainian and American experts, government officials, parliamentarians and diplomats.