White House praises Ukraine’s new deal signed between Yanukovych, opposition leaders

The White House endorsed an agreement Friday between the Ukrainian government and opposition leaders, saying the deal is “consistent with what we have advocated.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the pact signed by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders aims to de-escalate violence in the streets, bring constitutional change, form a coalition government and provide for early elections.

“We support the efforts of all those who negotiated this agreement, commend the courageous opposition leaders who recognized the need for compromise and offer the support of the United States in its implementation,” Mr. Carney said.

Mr. Yanukovych and the opposition groups signed the agreement earlier Friday after a week of violence that left scores of protesters dead. Some security officers also were killed.

The White House called for “immediate implementation” of the agreement’s initial steps — an end to the violence, amnesty and security normalization, and passage of a constitutional reforms in the national legislature — “to provide space for the negotiations to begin on formation of a technocratic coalition government.”

“Respect for the right of peaceful protest … is essential,” the White House said. “There must be accountability for those responsible for the violence and the casualties that have resulted since the crisis began, and we remain prepared to impose additional sanctions as necessary. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people as they work to restore peace, security, and human dignity across the country and determine the future course of their nation.”

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