UPDATE 9:45 a.m. EST: Ukraine opposition leaders signed an EU-mediated peace deal with President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday, aiming to end a violent standoff that has left dozens dead and opening the way for an early presidential election this year, Reuters reported.
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.
Earlier, negotiators finalized the deal to end Ukraine's political crisis.
The deal is designed to end Ukraine’s long-running crisis and was reached Friday, after all-night negotiations that included European and Russian mediators, the office of President Viktor Yanukovych announced, The Washington Post reported.
The government of President Viktor F. Yanukovych announced a tentative resolution on Friday to a crisis that has brought days of bloodshed to Ukraine, The New York Times reported.
In a statement later on his website quoted by The Associated Press, Mr. Yanukovych said he would call early presidential elections, form a coalition and reduce presidential powers through constitutional reforms.
It said the details were to be made public at noon, but both the French and Polish foreign ministries cautioned that the contents were still in flux, The Post reported.
Members of the ruling Party of Regions said in parliament Friday that the proposed deal envisions an immediate return to the constitution of 2004, the formation of a coalition government within 10 days, a referendum on a new constitution in September, and new elections in December.
The last point is the most likely to cause trouble. The protesters want Yanukovych out of office immediately, and they have sworn they will not leave the Maidan until he leaves the presidency.
Joseph Lazzaro, U.S. Editor, served as Managing Editor of New York-based financial news web sites WallStreetEurope.com/WallStreetItalia.com, 1999-2004, and as Economics...