Sunday

9th Aug 2020

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

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.

EU wary of violence in Belarus election

EU states have voiced fear of violence during Belarus elections on Sunday, as president Aleksander Lukashenko seeks to maintain his third decade in power.

EU: Hong Kong election delay undermines democracy

The EU demands Hong Kong reverse decision to postpone Legislative Council elections by one year, as western powers suspend extradition treaties with the global financial hub given China's controversial national security laws.

News in Brief

  1. Germany breached rights of Madeleine McCann suspect
  2. EU offers trade perks to Lebanon
  3. Germany charges ex-Audi chiefs on emissions cheating
  4. UK quarantines Belgium, as European infections climb
  5. Bulgaria's Borissov mulls resignation
  6. EU prolongs anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel
  7. Swedish economy contracted less during April to June
  8. EU offers help to Lebanon after port explosion

Feature

The Hagia Sophia and the global battle of symbols

The Turkish president's decision to restart Islamic worship services in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia last Friday is not innocent. So how should we react? By doing the opposite - and make Cordoba's famous Mosque/Cathedral in Cordoba a museum.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. EU wary of violence in Belarus election
  2. Iraqis paid €2,000 each agree to leave Greece
  3. EU's most sustainable islands are Danish 'Sunshine Islands'
  4. Worrying rows over future EU chemicals policy
  5. Rainbow flag protesters charged by Polish police
  6. An open letter to the EPP on end of Hungary's press freedom
  7. Renew Europe has a plan to combat gender-violence
  8. Why EU beats US on green pandemic recovery

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us