Tuesday

6th Dec 2016

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.

Commission won't call Castro a dictator

The EU executive says that a statement decribing the former Cuban leader as a "hero for many" is balanced and suggests that the use of the word dictator by a commissioner doesn't reflect its position.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  2. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  3. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  4. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  5. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  6. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  7. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  8. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  9. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  10. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Transport and Mobility in Rome
  11. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  12. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)

Latest News

  1. Brexit deal must be done by October 2018, says EU negotiator
  2. Rising to the challenge of 'European Angst'
  3. Polish firm sues EU Commission over Gazprom privileges
  4. ID and police checks await all who enter and leave the EU
  5. Italy's Renzi to stay on to pass budget
  6. Dutch anti-Ukraine vote spawns 'app democracy' party
  7. EU agrees on debt measures for Greece
  8. EU scrambles to finalise gun-control reforms