BRUSSELS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) on Friday welcomed the agreement reached between the Ukrainian government and the opposition, which opens the way for an early presidential election this year in Ukraine.
"The agreement is a necessary compromise in order to launch an indispensable political dialogue that offers the only democratic and peaceful way out of the crisis that has already caused too much suffering and bloodshed on all sides," said Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council.
"It is now the responsibility of all parties to be courageous and turn words into deeds for the sake of Ukraine's future," he added.
Van Rompuy said the agreement was facilitated by important work by the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Poland and the special representative of the President of Russia and based on the persistent efforts during the last two months by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Fule.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in a statement that the deal between the government and the opposition in Ukraine offers hope and that the country has avoided the worst: escalation of violence and more deaths.
"The crisis should end through a peaceful political process, which will require serious commitment of all sides, particularly the authorities, to form an inclusive government, start constitutional reform and organise early elections," said Schulz.
The Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on Friday agreed to an internationally mediated deal to resolve the country's bloody standoff, which has left dozens dead.
The deal includes provisions for constitutional changes that would limit presidential power, and for holding early presidential elections this year.