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Presidential aide hopes opposition and pro-govt party will vote for settlement plan

February 21, 2014, 10:39 UTC+3 KIEV
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian parliament voted to stop the counter-terrorism operation
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KIEV, February 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s adviser and MP Anna German said she was hopeful that the opposition and the pro-government Party of Regions would vote for a crisis settlement plan in the parliament on Friday, February 21.

“The president’s meeting with opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnibok has every chance to lead to a compromise that will settle the situation in Ukraine,” she said.

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“We can say that this day in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) may become a day of consensus and understanding between the authorities and the opposition on how to achieve a peaceful settlement,” German said.

She said Yanukovich was negotiating with the opposition, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Polish colleague Radoslaw Sikorski throughout the night. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also took part in the negotiations but left Kiev earlier this night as he is due to go on a scheduled visit to China.

“We tried to consider different ways to stop the violence, form a new government and hold new elections. We intend to meet with Yanukovich again this night and with the opposition afterwards,” Fabius said, adding that no final solution had been found yet.

He promised to continue efforts towards a political settlement in Ukraine. “There is no solution yet, but we are doing our utmost to move forward. The situation is very complex and it will take maximum effort to resolve it,” Fabius said.

The foreign ministers of Poland, Germany and France said earlier that they had achieved progress at the talks with the opposition and the authorities in Kiev.

“After the talks with the opposition we go back to President Yanukovich to help him at the talks. Progress has been achieved but important disagreements remain,” Sikorski said.

The Polish, German and French ministers stayed in Kiev for overnight talks. They were sent to the Ukrainian capital on a diplomatic mission by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. They had a four-hour meeting with Yanukovich and then conferred with opposition leaders.

“We have said in all the visits to Ukraine, what needs to happen: the dialogue, the importance of moving on the constitutional issues and the importance of moving towards free and fair elections. We stand by those; and we stand by the people of Ukraine. The responsibility to stop this violence rests squarely with those in power and we urge them to do so as quickly as possible,” the EU foreign policy chief said.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian parliament voted to stop the counter-terrorism operation in the country and return all law enforcement units to their permanent bases.

The resolution passed by the parliament also calls for releasing all detained persons and prohibits police from blocking roads.

Yanukovich’s permanent representative in the parliament, Yuri Miroshnichenko, said the main task was to stop the bloodshed in the country.

The first and foremost task we are facing is to stop the bloodshed. This is why the president held meetings and spent hours consulting with our colleagues from the European Union. This is why he invited opposition leaders to a meeting,” he said.

Miroshnichernko said there was no time for long discussions. “We need to adopt a consolidated decision that will be voted for by the whole parliament. If only a part of MPs vote for it, this will bring no peace and calm. This is why it is fundamentally important to work out a common position and state an action plan, which each side - demonstrators and the authorities - will comply with strictly. This is what the president is talking about,” Miroshnichenko said.

“Although emotions fly high, we have no other way but adopt legitimate decisions. And these decisions are being adopted,” he said.

Ukrainian MPs voted to work in plenary sessions until the political crisis was resolved. The decision was passed by 229 votes with the required 226.

The parliament will work on a daily basis, including weekends.

European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule said this might help resolve the crisis and normalize the situation in Ukraine.

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