Friday

24th Feb 2017

Ukraine deal set to end conflict, lead to early elections

  • The Ukraine agreement was brokered with the help of the German, French and Polish foreign minister (Photo: mac_ivan)

A deal in Kiev promises to end an outbreak of violence, which has seen over 75 people killed in the past few days.

Embattled President Viktor Yanukovych and the leaders of the three opposition parties agreed on Friday (21 February) to a number of demands in a wider effort to stabilise the country, which has been gripped by three months of unrest.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The deal calls for constitutional reforms, a coalition and national unity government, a law to restore the 2004 constitution, presidential elections by December, an independent investigation into the violence, and a promise not to impose a state of emergency.

The parliament has already voted to restore the 2004 constitution which weakens presidential powers.

Yanukovych has himself declared his intention to initiate early presidential elections.

Foreign ministers from Germany, France and Poland helped broker the agreement in Kiev.

All three released a joint statement commending “the parties for their courage and commitment to the agreement and call for an immediate end to all violence and confrontation in Ukraine.”

US ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt congratulated the three foreign ministers.

“This is a hopeful breakthrough,” he said.

EU council president Herman Van Rompuy also welcomed the agreement. “The EU continues to stand ready to support Ukraine,” he said.

"Implementation is key for the sake of country and its people," tweeted EU neighbourhood commissioner Stefan Fuele.

But not everyone is happy.

The leader of the militant, Pravy Sector, rejected Yanukovych's offer of a December presidential election, describing the leader and his close entourage as criminals.

The militant group, which is not among the three signatories, wants the interior minister arrested after snipers shot dead Maidan protestors in the square despite a ceasefire agreement.

Dramatic video footage posted online on Thursday show demonstrators on Institutska Street near Independence Square being shot. The shots continued to ring out as people rushed to drag away the wounded.

Ukraine's Health Ministry says 77 people are dead. Eleven of the dead are police officers.

The sudden upsurge in violence caught EU leaders off guard with member states promising punitive measures in response.

Targeted EU sanctions against those behind the violence announced Thursday remain in place despite the compromise agreement thrashed out in the early hours in Kiev.

Names have yet to be announced with Brussels officials still waiting for the sanction list to be sent from the EU delegation in Kiev, said an EU diplomat.

“It is difficult for me to say where we are at with the list of names but as I far as I understand it should be coming to Brussels from Kiev,” said the diplomat.

EU unsure who to blacklist in Ukraine

EU countries have agreed to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian regime, but disagree who should be on the blacklist and when it should enter into life.

Opinion

Ukraine: Dream of Change

Saturday’s dethronement of Yanukovych by parliament does not mean that EuroMaidan protesters have achieved their goals.

Feature

Armenia-Azerbaijan war: Line of contact

“Frontline coffee is the best coffee in the world”, an Armenian lieutenant told EUobserver, with soldiers' morale among their strongest weapons in the war against an oil-rich foe.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish court jails former IMF chief Rato
  2. Macron proposes Nordic-style economic model for France
  3. Germany posts record high budget surplus
  4. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  5. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  6. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  7. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  8. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  2. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  3. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  4. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  5. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  6. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  7. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  9. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  11. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  12. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play