An agreement in the Ukraine has just been signed, which sees early presidential elections. Europe is delighted by this development as confirmed by the following statement by the unelected Herman Van Rompuy:
Statement by the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, on Ukraine
I welcome the agreement reached between the government and the opposition 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. It is now the responsibility of all parties to be courageous and turn words into deeds for the sake of Ukraine’s future. This 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 High Representative Ashton and Commissioner Füle. The EU continues to stand ready to support Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministers of Germany, France, and Poland said the following:
The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland welcome the signing of the agreement on the Settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, commend the parties for their courage and commitment to the agreement and call for an immediate end to all violence and confrontation in Ukraine.
And the full agreement is below (link):
Agreement on the Settlement of Crisis in Ukraine
Concerned with the tragic loss of life in Ukraine, seeking an immediate end of bloodshed and determined to pave the way for a political resolution of the crisis,
We, the signing parties, have agreed upon the following:
1. Within 48 hours of the signing of this agreement, a special law will be adopted, signed and promulgated, which will restore the Constitution of 2004 including amendments passed until now. Signatories declare their intention to create a coalition and form a national unity government within 10 days thereafter.
2. Constitutional reform, balancing the powers of the President, the government and parliament, will start immediately and be completed in September 2014.
3. Presidential elections will be held as soon as the new Constitution is adopted but no later than December 2014. New electoral laws will be passed and a new Central Election Commission will be formed on the basis of proportionality and in accordance with the OSCE & Venice commission rules.
4. Investigation into recent acts of violence will be conducted under joint monitoring from the authorities, the opposition and the Council of Europe.
5. The authorities will not impose a state of emergency. The authorities and the opposition will refrain from the use of violence. The Parliament will adopt the 3rd amnesty, covering the same range of illegal actions as the 17th February 2014 law.
Both parties will undertake serious efforts for the normalisation of life in the cities and villages by withdrawing from administrative and public buildings and unblocking streets, city parks and squares.
Illegal weapons should be handed over to the Ministry of Interior bodies within 24 hours of the special law, referred to in point 1 hereof, coming into force. After the aforementioned period, all cases of illegal carrying and storage of weapons will fall under the law of Ukraine. The forces of authorities and of the opposition will step back from confrontational posture. The Government will use law enforcement forces exclusively for the physical protection of public buildings.
6. The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Poland and the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation call for an immediate end to all violence and confrontation.
Kyiv, 21 February 2014
As a reminder, this won’t be the first “crisis settlement” agreement that will be promptly violated.