Outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has concluded the latest session of round table mediation talks on the country’s political crisis with a press conference at which all the main actors were present.
Three central points came from the meeting and a document signed by all the participants. It states that a new mixed working group will be formed to analyse the situation. It says that the round table mediation group will only meet again after Ukraine’s Supreme Court rules on whether or not the contested presidential election was fraudulent. And it states that all political forces in the country will now end their blockades of the administration, ease the pressure on the economy, refrain from the use of force, and strive to maintain Ukraine’s territorial integrity. It does appear constitutional changes, including limiting the powers of the president, may be in store. And with declared winner Viktor Yanukovic and Viktor Yushchenko, who is crying fraud, shaking hands at the end of the meeting, it appears there is a determination to drain the situation of its tension. International mediators, from the EU, Russia, Poland, Lithuania and the OSCE, will continue to play a role but it is not clear how the people will react. Yushchenko’s supporters should now end their blockades but that does not mean the huge crowds will disperse. More anxious waiting appears to be in store for Ukrainians.