Deal reached in Ukraine to end crisis says Yanukovych

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Deal reached in Ukraine to end crisis says Yanukovych

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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed a deal to resolve the political crisis with opposition leaders.

It includes a return to the 2004 constitution with reduced presidential powers, the immediate formation of a coalition government, and early presidential elections no later than December. Ukraine’s parliament voted for that on Friday afternoon.

That followed a “difficult night” of negotiations mediated by visiting European Union foreign ministers from Poland, Germany and France.

One of the European Union mediators, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, described the agreement as a “good ompromise for Ukraine”. In a post on Twitter, he said it “gives peace a chance. Opens the way for reform and to Europe”.

Russia had wanted Yanukovych to impose order if he wants to keep benefiting from their financial support. Following the announcement of the deal, Moscow said on Friday the next slice of aid, some two billion euros, would depend on the new government.

US President Barack Obama has been consulting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has also been on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yanukovych appears to be losing support in parliament, which adopted a resolution late on Thursday urging authorities to stop shooting and withdraw police from central Kyiv. His Party of the Regions has also suffered a block defection of at least 10 MPs.

On Friday the parliament voted heavily in favour of an unconditional amnesty for all those detained or who might face possible prosecution in the current unrest.

The amnesty, which means all charges will be dropped against people detained or who might fear arrest for participating in protests, was part of the EU-brokered agreement signed between President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders to end the crisis.

Video: diplomacy in Kyiv