Ukraine: President, opposition sign crisis deal

UKRAINE-POLITICS-UNREST

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Anti government protesters attend a rally on Independence square on February 21, 2014 in Kiev. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and three main opposition leaders signed a deal Friday to end a three-month crisis over the ex-Soviet country's political future that has led to nearly 100 deaths. The pact paving the way for early elections and a shift in political power toward parliament was signed in the Blue Hall of the presidential palace in the presence of three EU envoys, an AFP correspondent said.

Ukraine's opposition leaders have signed a deal with the president and European mediators for early elections and a new government in hopes of ending a deadly political crisis.

It could be a major breakthrough in a months-long crisis over Ukraine's future and identity that worsened sharply this week and left scores dead. A key question is whether the thousands of protesters camped out in Kiev will heed it.

Two opposition spokeswomen said the deal was signed in the Ukrainian president's office Friday, but had no details.

The signing came hours after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced early presidential elections and promised to bring opposition members into the government. He did not give a time frame.

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