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CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reported from Kiev that violence had taken place before the deal was signed Friday morning in the Ukrainian parliament, when opponents were calling for early presidential elections. Some protesters in Kiev`s Independence Square told CBS News that they would stay until President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from power. The Ukrainian crisis was directly preceded by competition between the EU and Russia for Ukraine`s future geoeconomic orientation. The roots of the crisis lie in the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, which ended the prospect of north Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) enlargement for both Georgia and Ukraine, and in the early days of the global financial crisis, which seemed to lend more credibility to regional economic agreements. Second, the EU and Russia drew different conclusions from the war and the crisis. As part of the Eastern Partnership programme launched by the EU in 2009, Europeans wanted to associate Ukraine with the EU with five other former Soviet republics2 economically and politically2. However, this initiative was not a step towards a future enlargement of the EU, but an attempt to create a “comfort zone” east of the Union`s border and to strengthen the Western orientation of these countries. 1. Within forty-eight hours of the signing of this Agreement, a special law shall be adopted, signed and promulgated, which shall restore the effect of the 2004 Constitution as amended on that date. The signatories declare their intention to form a coalition and form a government of national unity within ten days. Ceasefires in Donbass, Ukraine, continue to crumble because neither side is fully invested in peace. Until the parties reach agreement on a long-term political solution, they should focus on protecting the civilian population through targeted sectoral decouplings. If it facilitates the establishment of peace, so much the better.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the deal. “I call on all parties to respect the agreement in good faith to ensure a peaceful political solution,” he said. What needs to be done? A comprehensive ceasefire should not be possible under the current political conditions. In the absence of such a case, the parties should pursue bilateral sectoral decouplings with clear and related humanitarian objectives, even if they seek to find a lasting political solution through discussions. Some Ukrainians go further and also claim that the monitoring mission contains Russian spies who alert separatist forces to monitor separatist movements and prevent them from testifying to ceasefire violations by that side. [fn] A former US diplomat told the Crisis Group during a discussion in Kiev in 2017 that this view of OSCE observers was also present at the embassy. Kurt Volker raised suspicions about the mission in a 2018 interview. Skirt, “`Putin will deny his participation in the war in Ukraine`”, op. cit. Cit.

Some members of the Ukrainian military even claim that the leaders of the OSCE monitoring team have systematically downplayed the violations committed by the other side. [fn] A Ukrainian military representative told Crisis Group that a former top observer had been “bought by the Russians,” a claim the OSCE mission categorically rejected. Crisis Group interviews, Ukrainian military representative, Kramatorsk, April 2019; OSCE staff, September 2019.Hide footnote Conversely, an expert with precise knowledge of the trilateral contact group`s monitoring procedures and negotiations called Ukraine`s complaints an “excuse” for not withdrawing armed forces, arguing that Ukraine`s position on withdrawal boils down to “a lack of political will”. [fn] Crisis Group interview, international security expert, Kiev, February 2020.Hide the footnote While they disagree on the order in which these steps should be implemented, the parties publicly agree that a lasting ceasefire is the first and most fundamental of the agreements and the key to the completion of all others. . . .