BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The international community has welcomed a deal between the Ukrainian government and the opposition and called for its early implementation.
The deal, mediated by the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland, envisages reduction of presidential powers through constitutional changes, the formation of a national unity government within 10 days and an early presidential election this year.
The deal is expected to end Ukraine's months-old political unrest triggered by President Viktor Yanukovych's move in last November to backtrack on an association agreement with the European Union (EU) and turn to Russia for financial aid instead.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed Friday on the need to quickly implement the agreement.
Both leaders stressed the importance of stabilizing Ukraine's economic situation and undertaking necessary reforms, as they exchanged views on a range of global issues via phone, the White House said in a statement.
Obama and Putin also agreed on the need for all sides in Ukraine's current political crisis to refrain from further violence, it added.
Ukraine's anti-government rallies, which started in November, turned violent again Tuesday and have led to at least 77 deaths.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns will go to Kiev early next week and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland is likely to visit in early March as part of international support for the implementation process.
The White House also said sanctions could be imposed on those responsible for the violence.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that Moscow is committed to assisting Ukraine in searching for ways to restore law and order. It stressed that any form of mediation must be carried out with unconditional respect for Ukraine's sovereignty.
"We are convinced that fateful processes in Ukraine such as the constitutional reform must be carried out with the political forces and regions fully involved, and the draft of this reform put to a nationwide referendum," said the ministry in a statement.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he was encouraged by the Ukrainian deal and urged its swift implementation to cool down the situation and initiate a peaceful solution to the crisis.
"The secretary-general commends the spirit of compromise, as well as the collaborative international approach to finding a resolution of the crisis," said a statement issued by Ban's spokesman.
The EU and NATO also hailed the agreement signed by Yanukovych and three main opposition leaders.
"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," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Friday.
"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.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday urged all parties to implement the deal in full, refrain from further violence, and work for the future of Ukraine.
KIEV, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- A peace deal emerged Friday after talks between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro- European opponents, pointing to a tantalizing sign of an end to the country's months-long tumultuous unrest triggered by Yanukovych's move to backtrack a trade and economic agreement with the European Union and turn to Russia for financial aid instead.
The deal, mediated by foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France, envisages constitutional changes to reduce the president's power, formation of a national unity government within ten days and an early presidential election this year. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Friday said that he was "encouraged" by an agreement between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders on a process for the settlement of the crisis in the country, underlining the importance of a swift implementation of the accord in order to "de-escalate the situation in the country."Full Story
MOSCOW, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Russia didn't sign a peace deal aimed at ending the political crisis in Ukraine on the grounds that certain questions regarding the agreement remained unanswered, a Russian mediator said Friday.Full Story