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Ukraine as it happened: After the bloodshed, the deal


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Ukraine as it happened: After the bloodshed, the deal

Ukraine opposition leaders signed an EU-mediated peace deal with President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday, aiming to end a violent standoff that has left dozens dead and opening the way for an early presidential election this year.

Russian-backed Yanukovich – under pressure to quit from the mass demonstrations in Kiev – earlier offered a series of concessions to his pro-European opponents, including a national unity government and constitutional change to reduce his powers, as well as the presidential vote.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the deal provided for the creation of a national unity government and an early presidential election this year, although no date had been set. The vote had been due in March 2015.

A Reuters correspondent at the signing in the presidential headquarters said Yanukovich did not smile during a ceremony lasting several minutes.

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