say compromise to end political crisis includes interim government, reformed
constitution and early elections.
Reuters | Feb. 21, 2014 | 12:42 PM
minute changes to a deal with Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovich
intended to resolve the former Soviet republic's political crisis, but EU
mediators said they still expect an agreement on Friday.
The German and Polish foreign ministers were
in Kiev to try to broker an end to the worst violence since Soviet days amid a
stand-off between riot police and anti-government protesters who have occupied
a central square for nearly three months.
The sprawling nation of 46 million with a
shattered economy and endemic corruption is at the centre of a geopolitical
tug-of-war between Russia and the European Union.
Diplomats said a compromise drafted in
all-night negotiations involved appointing a transitional government, with a
reformed constitution by September reducing presidential powers, and fresh
elections by the end of the year.
Whether such a gradual transition would be
acceptable to grassroots activists who want Yanukovich out now was unclear.
"This is just another piece of paper. We
will not leave the barricades until Yanukovich steps down. That's all people
want," said Anton Solovyov, 28, an IT worker protesting in the central
A senior EU diplomat said the president and
opposition leaders were expected to sign the deal on Friday, even though the
opposition still wanted some changes.
Earlier, police said in a statement that
anti-government militants fired on security forces near the central
Independence Square, scene of a three-month-old protest vigil.
However, there was no independent confirmation
of such an incident and no report of casualties.
The square, known as Maidan or
"Euro-Maidan", appeared peaceful, with thousands of demonstrators
chanting anti-government slogans interspersed with patriotic singing.
After the visiting ministers suspended talks
at dawn, the presidential press service said an agreement with the opposition
would be signed at noon (1000 GMT) but it gave no details. That time passed
with no word of a signing.
Armed police briefly entered the parliament
building while lawmakers were holding an emergency session but they were
quickly ejected, opposition leader Arseny Yatsenyuk said.
Ukraine, a sprawling country of 46 million,
faces the risk of civil war or even a break-up, and rage has spread even into
the parliamentary chamber. Members exchanged punches when speaker Volodymyr
Rybak tried to adjourn proceedings.
Opposition deputies were angered because it
would mean delaying a possible vote on a resolution pressing for constitutional
changes to restrict the president's powers. The speaker left the chamber and
If signed and implemented, the deal would be a
setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has made tying Ukraine into a
Moscow-led Eurasian Union a cornerstone of his efforts to reunite as much as
possible of the former Soviet Union.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, whose
foreign minister is one of the mediators, cautioned that there was only a
tentative accord so far. "The agreement has not yet been reached. What's
been settled is the agreement's draft," Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who
was involved in the mediation effort earlier in the night, said the opposition
needed to consult.
"The opposition wants to consult with
some of its members, which is entirely understandable," he told Europe 1
radio. "In this sort of situation, as long as things haven't really been
wrapped up, it's important to remain very cautious."
After 48 hours in which the fate of Ukraine
was fought out in the square, with at least 77 people killed, Yanukovich was
rapidly losing support.
The deputy chief of the armed forces resigned
and opposition deputies in parliament voted to overturn severe anti-terrorist
laws enacted by Yanukovich's government this month and ordered security forces
back to barracks.
In another sign of the severity of the crisis,
ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut Ukraine's credit rating for the second
time in three weeks on Friday, citing the increased risk of default.
S&P said latest developments in the crisis
made it less likely that Ukraine would receive desperately needed Russian aid.
Ukraine cancelled a planned issue of 5-year Eurobonds worth $2 billion, it told
the Irish Stock Exchange where the debt would have been listed. Kiev had hoped
Russia would buy the bonds to help it stave off bankruptcy.
The health ministry said 77 people had been
killed since Tuesday afternoon, which meant at least 47 died in Thursday's
clashes. That was by far the worst violence since Ukraine's independence.
On Thursday, EU foreign ministers meeting in
Brussels imposed targeted sanctions on Ukraine and threatened more if the
authorities failed to restore calm.
Eminent Intelligentsias are of the
opinion that the issue has been escalated by Russian Putin personally. The West
and EU is moving without any well planned strategy taking this the Israel’s
Assassin PM took the advantage to help Russia to build up it broken super power castle.
the countries around Russia wants to get out and get attach with EU out of Russia’s
influence. But EU is taking too long to decide of its acceptability putting the countries in horns
If Israel stops playing dubious
role then almost all the Mid Asian around Russian countries would like to come
out of its brutal control and influence. It is time Israel is assessed on its
every move and activities to avert big catastrophe. Day by day its activities, and
audacious statement by its Ministers exposes amply of its quality of loyalty and of its
recent shift from previous trust worthy position.
Without tough action not against
Ukraine but its president and his ardent loyal people. The present treaty will not
be workable if proper monitoring fails where upon Russian will invariable try to manipulate with
and nullify the treaty creating new problems with usual secret help of vital information from Snowden and Israel. No further
elucidation can be done.