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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and three main opposition leaders - Vitali Klitschko of the pro-EU Udar movement, Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the main opposition Fatherland and Oleh Tyahnybok of the far-right Svobod - have signed a deal to end a three-month crisis in the ex-Soviet country.
The deal has been brokered by the German, the French and the Polish foreign ministers.
Here's the full text of the agreement as posted on the German Foreign Ministry website:
Concerned with the tragic loss of life in Ukraine, seeking an immediate end of bloodshed and determined to pave the way for a political resolution of the crisis, We, the signing parties, have agreed upon the following:
Both parties will undertake serious efforts for the normalisation of life in the cities
and villages by withdrawing from administrative and public buildings and
unblocking streets, city parks and squares.
Illegal weapons should be handed over to the Ministry of Interior bodies within
24 hours of the special law, referred to in point 1 hereof, coming into force. After
the aforementioned period, all cases of illegal carrying and storage of weapons
will fall under the law of Ukraine. The forces of authorities and of the opposition
will step back from confrontational posture. The Government will use law
enforcement forces exclusively for the physical protection of public buildings.
Kyev, 21 February 2014
Putin persuaded Yanukovich to sign Feb 21st compromise agreement at request of US & EU
Posted by SueC on March 5, 2014, 2:21 pm
This article which has been translated from the original Russian claims that Putin persuaded Yanukovich to sign the February 21st compromise agreement between Yanukovich's government and the opposition at the request of the US and EU. Putin agreed to do this because he was assured by Obama and EU foreign ministers that they would guarantee the opposition upheld their end of the deal. As we know, this agreement lasted about five minutes. Another example of western perfidy that won't get any attention in MSM.
Original article here:
Elena Tsjernenko, Kommersant, 05/03/2014
Translation by Nils van der Vegte
Yesterday, in Madrid, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov discussed the events in Ukraine with the `Minister` of Foreign Affairs of the European Union, Catherine Ashton. Lavrov told Ashton that Moscow is not going to change its policy and criticized the EU and America for the failure of the previous agreements. A Russian diplomatic source called `B` confirmed: The Kremlin convinced Yanukovich to sign the now defunct agreement. Reporting from Madrid with more details is Elena Tsjernenko.
The meeting the foreign ministers began in a tense atmosphere. Lavrov talked to Ashton at the residence of the Russian Ambassador in Madrid and offered her a plate with biscuits on it: `The biscuits are, of course, not from Maidan , but still`. Ashton refused: `I have never eaten cookies in my life` she said. There was an awkward pause after this. `It looks beautiful here`, Ashton said, trying to lighten the mood. `Yes, our ambassador has earned the right to work in such a place`, the Russian minister said but could not resist taunting Ashton: `Unlike some, we appoint people on merit, not on political beliefs.` He clearly hinted at the new government in Ukraine. Ashton started to objecting but then asked the press to leave the room.
The sarcastic remarks of Lavrov reflect the mood in Moscow, which now clearly harbors a grudge against Brussels. Not only in connection with the announcement of sanctions but also of events that transpired much earlier. A Russian diplomatic source confirmed the statement by Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski that it was Vladimir Putin who, during a telephone conversation on February the 21st, convinced Yanukovich to make concessions to the opposition. According to this source, Vladimir Putin urged Yanukovich to abandon plans for a state of emergency and begin negotiations with the opposition to stop the bloodshed.
According to the source, President Barrack Obama and the leaders of Germany, France and Poland, requested Putin to influence Yanukovich on this matter. In return, these countries promised the Kremlin that they would ensure that the Ukrainian opposition would hold up their end of the agreement of February the 21st, which included the creation of a government of `National Unity`, constitutional reforms, early elections and surrendering the illegally acquired weapons. `Yanukovich completely fulfilled his side of the agreement but the opposition did not comply with anything`, the source said. `Now the EU and US wants us to behave like there was no agreement in the first place and `look ahead` but we will not do this.`
In addition, the German authorities have recently reported that Vladimir Putin accepted the proposal of Chancellor Angela Merkel to establish an international mission to investigate the situation in the Crimea under the auspices of the OSCE. However, the source told Kommersant that this is `wishful thinking` of the Germans.
"There are fears that they are trying to draw us in all kinds of formats for legitimizing the new Ukrainian government."
We are ready to continue the dialogue with our Western partners but only if they are prepared to return to the agreements of February the 21st and that all political forces will be involved in this."
Moscow, according to the source, will not insist on returning Yanukovich to power, but will seek a reallocation of ministerial portfolios which is in the interest of those regions not supporting Maidan.
The EU and the US, it seems, have already given up on the agreements of February the 21st. The statement put out after an emergency session of the Foreign Ministers of the EU did not say a word on these agreements. What it did say is that the EU may impose sanctions on Russia if it did not `de-escalate` the situation in the Crimea. It could be that the EU will consider freezing the negotiations on the liberalization of the visa regime and work on a new basic agreement between the EU and Russia.
`Those who get angry are always wrong` Lavrov answered on the request of Kommersant to comment on the threats made by the West. `If our partners in Europe and the U.S. are not able to do anything in order to fulfill its obligations pertaining to the agreements between the government and opposition , why are others guilty of their own inaction?` According to Lavrov, Russia´s position is honest and Russia will therefore not change it.
On top of that, the threat made on suspending work on the simplification of visa formalities and the new basic agreement is not particularly worrisome for Moscow: negotiations on those themes stalled long before the Ukrainian crisis. However, the EU does not rule out that it may expand the number of sanctions to include financial and trade restrictions , as well as the introduction of extensive black list of banned individuals. According to " Kommersant " Moscow is hoping that the EU will not be able to agree on a common list of measures and sanctions , and believes that " Old Europe " will soften the zeal of "Young" East European members of the Union . Such a calculation may well be justified : Germany, the UK and Spain are against those sanctions."
February 22, 2014 | latimes.com
KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's capital fell into the hands of anti-government protesters Saturday morning.Without a shot fired, opposition units surrounded and took control of parliament, the Council of Ministers building and most important, the Presidential Administration building, when they discovered early in the morning that the riot police who had been guarding the sites were gone, an opposition leader said.
"[The opposition] today controls all of Kiev as we have taken control of all government quarters," Andriy Parubiy, commander of the opposition forces, told thousands of people in Independence Square. "We told those of [the police] who are decent and honest that they may join us."
Parubiy advised policemen wishing to switch sides to put blue and yellow ribbons on their uniforms, the symbol of the opposition.
Parubiy said earlier that the Interior Ministry troops stationed in Kiev had pledged allegiance to the opposition.
Friday night embattled President Viktor Yanukovich reportedly fled to Kharkiv, the industrial stronghold of Yanukovich's ruling party in eastern Ukraine, where he was expected to hold a conference with supporters.
... ... ...
Ukrainian lawmakers made their way to an urgent session of parliament, walking past protesters in masks and helmets who were armed with makeshift shields and clubs. The lawmakers were expected to pass new laws to accommodate the new realities, the most important new measure being a law on impeaching the president.
Saturday morning, parliament speaker Volodymyr Rybak, a staunch Yanukovich supporter, resigned, the UNIAN information organization reported.
The streets of central Kiev, where the government complex lies and which previously had been protected by thousands of riot police, were empty and unusually quiet Saturday morning, with some groups of protesters patrolling them.
... ... ...
"Yanukovich didn't leave anybody in charge in Kiev, didn't give any instructions to anybody," said Kost Bondarenko, director of the Ukrainian Police Institute, a Kiev-based think tank.
"But technically, since he is still in Ukraine, he remains president. As for the impeachment procedure expected to be launched, it will need the support of two-thirds of the lawmakers and a long procedure involving action by the Supreme and Constitutional courts."
... ... ...
Friday night thousands of protesters in Independence Square rejected the peace deal signed by Yanukovich and three protest leaders. The deal provided for an early presidential election, the reduction of presidential powers and amnesty for all protesters. On the same day parliament fired Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko, who had reportedly given orders to suppress the opposition by force.
February 21, 2014 | latimes.comKIEV, Ukraine -- Embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich acknowledged the opposition's victory Friday by initiating early presidential and parliamentary elections and a plan to form a coalition government.
"In these tragic days when Ukraine suffered such heavy losses, when people died on both sides of the barricades, I consider it my duty in solemn memory of the slain to state that there is nothing more important than human life," Yanukovich said in a statement published on his official website after a meeting with opposition leaders in Kiev.
"There are no such steps which we ought not to take together to restore peace in Ukraine."
Among the steps Yanukovich named were early elections for president and parliament, the reduction of presidential powers in favor of parliament and the formation of a coalition government.
"As president of Ukraine and guarantor of the constitution, I am fulfilling today my duty before the people, before Ukraine and before Lord God for the sake of preserving the state, in the name of preserving human lives, in the name of peace and calm on our soil," read the statement. It provided no details on how and when the proposed measures would be implemented.
The announcement came on the first peaceful day this week, after the most violent week in the history of post-Soviet Ukraine in which more than 100 people were killed, most of them protesters, and hundreds were injured in Kiev and across the country.
On Thursday, the Supreme Rada, or national parliament, voted to outlaw the so-called anti-terrorist operation declared earlier in the week by the national Security Service. Parliament also barred law enforcement officers from using firearms and confined them to barracks.
As reduced forces of riot police continued to protect key government buildings, protesters fortified new barricades in Grushevsky Street and around Independence Square in central Kiev.
"Yanukovich's word is worth nothing with us," said Alexander Chekmaz, a 38-year-old lawyer from the city of Mykolayev, dressed in a camouflage suit with a military helmet and club while manning an opposition checkpoint in Grushevsky Street.
"Yanukovich has deceived many times before, so we will only believe him when he steps down."
Opposition leader and former world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko expressed impatience with the lack of specifics in Yanukovich's statement.
"We must do everything to schedule early presidential elections," he said after the meeting with Yanukovich. "What is happening now in the streets does not leave us any time to contemplate. We have to take a decision immediately."
But Alexander Yefremov, leader of the ruling party faction in parliament, told Interfax that the agreement between the president and the opposition provides for a September vote on the required changes in the constitution and for new elections in December.
By Sabine Siebold
- Ukraine parliament backs unconditional amnesty for detained protesters Reuters
- After day of drama, who rules Ukraine? Reuters
- Militants threaten to shatter fragile Ukraine truce AFP
- Ukraine peace deal halts violence but crowds still angry Reuters
- Ukraine's president announces early election, unity government Reuters
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday signed an agreement with three opposition leaders on ending a crisis that sparked bloody clashes between protesters and police on the streets of the capital Kiev.
The deal sets out plans to hold early presidential elections, form a national unity government and revert to the 2004 constitution, removing some of the president's powers.
A Reuters correspondent at the signing in the presidential headquarters said Yanukovich did not smile during a ceremony lasting several minutes but he did shake hands with the opposition.
Before the ceremony in the ornate Blue Hall of the presidential headquarters, former boxer Vitaly Klitschko swapped place names so that he did not have to sit next to Yanukovich.
The deal was also signed by two European Union foreign ministers who helped broker it in tortuous negotiations that lasted more than 30 hours.
"This agreement is not the end of the process. It's the beginning of the process," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after the signing.
He said it was not perfect but the best agreement that could have been reached.
"With it Ukraine has got the chance to resume its way to Europe," he said.
"This is a landmark decision for a change to the dictatorial powers of President Yanukovich," another opposition leader, Arseny Yatsenyuk told parliament.
The assembly subsequently began to vote to make the agreement law, supporting immediately a return to the constitution of 2004 and an unconditional amnesty for people detained in the current unrest.
The crisis began after Yanukovich spurned a political and trade pact with the European Union in November and decided to rebuild trade ties with Russia instead. That triggered protests in central Kiev and violence, including clashes in which 77 people were killed this week in the capital.
The deal was not signed by Vladimir Lukin, an envoy sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin. There was no immediate explanation for his absence.
(Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Timothy Heritage)
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders have signed an EU brokered agreement on ending the political crisis in the country.
The Ukrainian opposition representatives included the leader of the UDAR political party, Vitaly Klitschko, the head of the Batkivshchyna opposition party, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and the leader of the nationalist Svoboda opposition party, Oleg Tyagnibok.
The breakthrough agreement was witnessed by EU foreign ministers who brokered the deal, including Poland's Radoslaw Sikorski and Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as Director at the Continental Europe Department of the French Foreign Ministry, Eric Fournier.
Russia's Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin, who was present at the negotiations, noted the positive dynamic of the talks.
"We got acquainted with our partners' position, and now we understand it," he said. However, he added that "the biggest difficulty is that the situation is constantly changing" and there is no clarity as to who will fulfill the agreements and how.
On Friday, Yanukovich announced early presidential elections and the return to the constitution of 2004, which limits presidential powers and widens the parliament's authority. Ukraine's Parliament has already adopted a law restoring the constitution of 2004 with 386 MP's voting in favor.
Yanukovich also said a national unity government will be created.
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