Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ukraine parliament ousts Yanukovich, Tymoshenko freed | В Государственной пограничной службе Украины заявляют, что не позволили чартерному рейсу с Виктором Януковичем на борту вылететь из Донецкого аэропорта

Ukraine parliament ousts Yanukovich, Tymoshenko freed


7:52am IST
By Pavel Polityuk and Matt Robinson
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovich after three months of street protests, while his arch-rival Yulia Tymoshenko hailed opposition demonstrators as "heroes" in an emotional speech in Kiev after she was released from jail.
Yanukovich abandoned the capital to the opposition on Saturday and denounced what he described as a coup after several days of bloodshed this week that claimed 82 lives.
Supporters cheered former prime minister Tymoshenko as she left the hospital where she had been held. When she spoke later in Kiev, her reception was mixed.
Her release marks a radical transformation in the former Soviet republic of 46 million people. Removal of the pro-Russian Yanukovich should pull Ukraine away from Moscow's orbit and closer to Europe.
It is also a reversal for Russian President Vladimir Putin's dream of recreating as much as possible of the Soviet Union in a new Eurasian Union. Moscow had counted on Yanukovich to deliver Ukraine as a central member.
Members of the Ukrainian parliament, who abandoned Yanukovich after this week's bloodshed, applauded and sang the national anthem after declaring him constitutionally unable to carry out his duties. An early election was set for May 25.
"This is a political knockout," opposition leader and retired world boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko told reporters.
In a television interview the station said was conducted in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, Yanukovich said he would not resign or leave the country, and called decisions by parliament "illegal".
"The events witnessed by our country and the whole world are an example of a coup d'etat," he said, comparing it to the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany in the 1930s.
Interfax news agency said border guards refused to let Yanukovich exit the country when he tried to fly out from the eastern city of Donetsk.
At Yanukovich's abandoned secret estate a short distance from Kiev, people flocked to take photographs of his private zoo with ostriches and deer, replica ancient Greek ruins, and lavish waterways and follies.
Despite Yanukovich's defiance, the dismantling of his authority seemed all but complete. His cabinet promised a transition to a new government, the police declared themselves behind the protesters and his arch-rival Tymoshenko went free.
Tymoshenko, with her trademark braided hair, waved to supporters from a car as she was driven out of the hospital in Kharkiv, where she has been treated for a bad back while serving a seven-year sentence since 2011.
Setting herself immediately on a collision course with Moscow, Tymoshenko said she was sure her country would join the European Union in the near future. Her release was welcomed by Washington.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said "illegal extremist groups are refusing to disarm and in fact are taking Kiev under their control with the connivance of opposition leaders".
As night fell, 30,000 opposition supporters on Kiev's Independence Square, scene of nearly three months of protests, were in buoyant mood.
There was sadness too, with coffins displayed in front of the crowd as priests said prayers. People crossed themselves in front of makeshift shrines with candles and pictures of the dead. Two captured water cannon trucks were parked in the square like trophies of war.
Carried on to a stage in a wheelchair, an emotional and tired-looking Tymoshenko told the protesters on the square, known as the Maidan: "You have no right to leave the Maidan ... Don't stop yet.
Showing glimpses of the fiery oratory that drove her to power, Tymoshenko shouted: "This is a Ukraine of different people. The ones who died on Maidan are our liberators, our heroes for centuries."
The response was mixed. Tymoshenko is a divisive figure in Ukraine, where many have become disillusioned with a political class they see as corrupt and elitist.
Small pockets of the crowd clapped and sang Tymoshenko's name, but the chants did not catch on. Whistles could be heard. Others listened silently.
Earlier, the Ukrainian cabinet said it was committed to a responsible transfer of power. Military and police leaders said they would not get involved in any internal conflict.
Yanukovich enraged much of the population by turning away from the European Union to cultivate closer relations with Russia three months ago. On Friday, he made sweeping concessions in a deal brokered by European diplomats after days of street battles during which police snipers gunned down protesters.
But the deal, which called for early elections by the end of the year, was not enough to satisfy pro-Europe demonstrators on Independence Square. They wanted Yanukovich out immediately in the wake of the bloodletting.
The release of Tymoshenko transforms Ukraine by giving the opposition a single leader who may become president, although Klitschko and others also have claims.
Tymoshenko, 53, was jailed by a court under Yanukovich over a natural gas deal with Russia she arranged while serving as premier before he took office. The EU had long considered her a political prisoner, and her freedom was one of the main demands it had for closer ties with Ukraine during years of negotiations that ended when Yanukovich turned towards Moscow in November.
She had served as a leader of the "Orange Revolution" of mass demonstrations which overturned a fraudulent election victory for Yanukovich in 2004, but after a divisive term as prime minister she lost to him in an election in 2010.
(Additional reporting by Tim Heritage and Richard Balmforth in Kiev, Gabriela Baczynska in Moscow and Marcin Goettig in Warsaw; Writing by Giles Elgood; Editing by David Gregorio)

22 февраля 2014 | 22:42

В Государственной пограничной службе Украины заявляют, что не позволили чартерному рейсу с Виктором Януковичем на борту вылететь из Донецкого аэропорта. Об этом УНН сообщил помощник главы Госпогранслужбы Сергей Астахов.

"Сегодня в аэропорту Донецка пытался вылететь чартерный рейс без соответствующего пограничного оформления. Не было заявки для вылета этого чартерного рейса", - Сергей Астахов.

Во время проверки к пограничникам вышли из самолета вооруженные люди, которые предложили деньги взамен на срочное оформление самолета. Однако пограничники отказались.

"После этого приехали два бронированных автомобиля. С самолета вышло Первое должностное лицо страны, село в автомобиль и покинуло территорию аэропорта", - сообщил чиновник.

Напомним, ранее представитель Госпогранслужбы Сергей Астахов сообщил, что генпрокурор Виктор Пшонка и исполняющий обязанности главы Министерства доходов и сборов Александр Клименкопытались покинуть Украину, однако их не пропустила Госпогранслужба.

22 февраля 2014 | 22:55

Лидер партии "Батьківщина" Юлия Тимошенко намерена приступить к работе и считает, что украинцы вскоре увидят "других политиков". Об этом она заявила, перед тем как покинуть сцену на Майдане, передает УНН.

"Сейчас я возвращаюсь к работе", - заявила Тимошенко в конце выступления.

Она резюмировала, что Украина начала освободительное движение во всех постсоветских странах и по сути "начала новое движение в мире. Ведь за ее примером последуют другие постсоветские страны".

Напомним, выступая со сцены Майдана, она обратилась с просьбой к митингующим не покидать Майдан, пока не найдут и не накажут виновных в смерти людей.
По ее словам, когда она заехала в Киев, то первое, что увидела были сожженые машины, цветы и "другая Украина", которую добыли в борьбе герои Майдана".

21 февраля 2014 | 23:12
Аншлаг на аэровокзалах. Столичные аэропорты за минувшие сутки отправили гораздо больше бизнесс-рейсов чем обычно. В аэропорту "Киев" говорят - побили все рекорды и за одну ночь отправили в 80 чартерных рейсов. Еще ночью аэропорт "Киев" встречал гостей блокпостом. Это не сотрудники аэровокзала, а активисты самообороны.

Kazaky - Love

Горіла сосна палала - Horila sosna - Ukrainian folk song // by Iryna Kn...

ukrainian songs - YouTube

Obama, Putin agree on need to ensure Ukraine deal works - Reuters

imageWASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Friday that a deal aimed at halting bloody clashes between government forces and protesters in Ukraine needs to be implemented quickly to stabilize the country, a U.S. official said.
The two leaders spoke by phone after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders signed a European Union-mediated peace deal.
"They agreed that the agreement reached today needed to be implemented quickly, that it was very important to encourage all sides to refrain from violence, that there was a real opportunity here for a peaceful outcome," a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters on a conference call.
The White House said details of the agreement are consistent with what the United States had been urging, such as a de-escalation of the violence, constitutional change, a coalition government and early elections.
The State Department official warned, however, that the deal remains "very, very fragile," and said international support will be needed to help stabilize the country.
"This has been a very tough sell and will continue to be a tough sell for the opposition to make to those on the streets. This is not least because of the horrible, horrible violence of the last two days," the official said.
Putin also emphasized the fragility of the situation and suggested "radical" opponents of the government were a potential threat to the deal.
Putin "underscored the need to take urgent measures to stabilize the atmosphere, accenting the importance of work with the radical opposition, which brought the confrontation in Ukraine to an extremely dangerous point," the Kremlin said in a brief statement.
Russia has said the West shares blame for the bloodshed because it encouraged violent opposition groups by failing to condemn their actions.
Tony Blinken, deputy U.S. national security adviser, said in a CNN interview that the Obama administration had made clear to Ukraine there would be consequences if the violence continued.
"And I think that had an important impact in getting people to move," Blinken said. "We've already issued some visa restrictions on those who were responsible for the violence and repression.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will go to Kiev early next week and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland will likely visit in early March to be part of international support for the implementation process.
Senior U.S. officials had been preparing new sanctions to impose on Ukraine's government after dozens of people were killed in Kiev during mass demonstrations this week.
The White House reiterated that those responsible for the violence must be held accountable.
"We are not ruling out sanctions to hold those responsible for the violence accountable, especially should there be further violence or violation of the agreement," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Carney said efforts of the French, Polish and German foreign ministers as well as U.S. leaders helped bring about the deal. He added that "Russia witnessed the agreement and ... played an important role in that respect."
"It is in Russia's interest that Ukraine not be engulfed in violence - Kiev or other places - and that it return to stability, and that progress be made toward a future in Ukraine that reflects the will of the Ukrainian people," Carney told a news briefing.
"So it's very important to view this not as a tug-of-war between East and West or the United States and Russia," he added.
Copyright Reuters, 2014

Amid Fence-Mending, Another U.S.-Russia Rift - NYTimes

Amid Fence-Mending, Another U.S.-Russia Rift

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WASHINGTON — After putting the tense Russian-American relationship on “pause” last year,President Obama and his team have lately been working to get it back on track by quietly planning a possible meeting this summer with President Vladimir V. Putin. The two sides have even begun discussing a trade agreement for the two to sign.
But the bloody political crisis in Ukraine has underscored just how hard it will be to restore constructive ties between Washington and Moscow. While the two sides were facing off this week over the future of the strategically located former Soviet republic, the prospect of renewed summitry appeared problematic. Now with a fragile deal in Kiev, American officials said, a meeting may yet come together.
Mr. Obama, who last summer became the first president in more than a half-century to cancel a meeting with his Russian or Soviet counterpart, called Mr. Putin on Friday, and they talked for an hour about Ukraine and other points of division like Syria and Iran. American officials characterized the call as surprisingly productive and took it as a sign that despite recent friction, there might be a path forward.
The two leaders agreed to focus on carrying out the settlement in Kiev and not relitigate the origins of the political clash, according to administration officials who described the conversation on the condition of anonymity. Mr. Obama “was pretty clear we’ll let those disagreements lie there,” said one official, adding that the call “actually was pretty positive.” Another official called it “completely constructive and workmanlike” and “clearly an important signal.”
The future of United States-Russia ties, however, has rarely been more uncertain or volatile. Ukraine is just the latest in a series of issues that have strained relations, including asylum for the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, the civil war in Syria, differences over arms control, and Russia’s domestic crackdown on dissent.
With the end of the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the worldwide spotlight that comes with it, some in Washington worry that Mr. Putin will feel free to further tighten the vise on critics at home. And if the Ukrainian deal falls apart again, as many fear it might, Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin could once again find themselves squaring off.
“The challenge we face is that even as Americans and Europeans believe we aren’t engaged in a zero-sum game with Russia, Russia unfortunately is playing a zero-sum game with us,” said Damon Wilson, a former national security aide to President George W. Bush and now executive vice president of the Atlantic Council.
Mr. Obama insisted this week that he does not see his differences with Mr. Putin “as some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition.” But the American government was deeply involved in the Ukrainian crisis in a way that convinced Mr. Putin of the opposite. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. talked with President Viktor F. Yanukovych nine times in the past several months, including an hourlong telephone call on Thursday as the government and opposition were negotiating their deal. American officials insisted their interest was in seeing the Ukrainian people make their own choices.
But the Kremlin’s accusations of meddling hang over the White House even as it tries to pick a successor to Ambassador Michael A. McFaul, who is leaving his Moscow post.
One name that has been floated inside the West Wing is John F. Tefft, a recently retired career diplomat. But because he has served as ambassador in Lithuania, Georgia and Ukraine, three former Soviet republics that have resisted Moscow’s regional dominance, Mr. Tefft is viewed warily by the Kremlin, and Mr. Obama will have to decide whether his selection would be constructive or provocative.
“I think the U.S. is looking for an opportunity to keep the Russia relationship from deteriorating even further,” said Angela E. Stent, head of Russian studies at Georgetown University and author of “The Limits of Partnership,” a book on Russian-American relations since the end of the Cold War. “The Obama reset is over, and the question is: Is it worth trying something new for the next two and a half years?”
The White House has been exploring that very question for the past two months. Russia will host the annual Group of 8 summit meeting in June in Sochi, the scene of what Mr. Putin sees as his Olympic triumph. Since Mr. Obama feels obliged to attend, he and aides began considering whether to have a separate one-on-one meeting with Mr. Putin, as is traditional at such events, restoring ties after canceling last September’s visit to Moscow.
Aides said Mr. Obama is not interested in a meeting that simply rehashes disagreements, so the two sides in December began talking about whether there were areas where they could make substantive progress.
Arms control seemed to be out: Moscow has expressed no interest in Mr. Obama’s latest proposals to cut their mutual nuclear arsenals, and recent reports of Russian violations of a Cold War-era treaty have made it harder, if not impossible, to get Senate approval for a new pact.
Likewise, the two sides no longer have as much to talk about in terms of Afghanistan, one area of agreement in the past, because Mr. Obama plans to withdraw most or all American forces from there by the end of the year, making the supply route Russia has provided moot.
And so the Americans and Russians have been discussing one issue of mutual interest: economics. Even as Mr. Obama negotiates sweeping new trade treaties with Europe and Asia, aides have been talking about a separate trade treaty with Russia. Celeste A. Wallander, the president’s Russia adviser, floated ideas in Moscow in December, and Igor Shuvalov, a Russian deputy prime minister, visited Washington the same month for talks with Michael Froman, the president’s trade representative.
More discussions took place on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in January, and Aleksei Ulyukayev, Russia’s minister of economic development, will travel to Washington next week and meet on Wednesday with Penny Pritzker, the commerce secretary. “We’re coming to the point where we might have a set of priorities,” one of the administration officials said.
Even though trade has reportedly increased since Russia joined the World Trade Organization and the United States lifted Cold War-era trade restrictions, commerce between the two countries remains a fraction of what either does with China or Europe. But any trade agreement that requires congressional approval could be a hard sell without progress on human rights in Russia.
That makes some specialists wonder whether the trade talk is mainly a way of simply getting the two leaders together. “To what extent are the two governments moving this thing because there’s a real substantive need or desire for it and to what extent are they doing it because they can’t think of anything else to talk about?” asked E. Wayne Merry, a former diplomat who served in Moscow and is now a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.
He added, “There’s a recognition that canceling a bilat,” or bilateral meeting, “two years running, that’s something that hasn’t happened before, even in the darkest days of the Cold War.”

UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION: President flees Kyiv, Yulia Tymoshenko freed from prison - euronews | Ukraine's Leader Flees Palace as Protesters Widen Control New York Times

» [Live updates] President flees Kyiv, Yulia Tymoshenko freed from prison - euronews
22/02/14 09:08 from Google News
euronews [Live updates] President flees Kyiv, Yulia Tymoshenko freed from prison euronews Protesters seized the Kiev office of President Viktor Yanukovich on Saturday and the opposition demanded a new election be held by May, as the pro-...

  1. News for Ukraine

    1. New York Times ‎- 3 hours ago
      KIEV, Ukraine — An opposition unit took control of the presidential palace outside Kiev on Saturday, as leaders in Parliament saidUkraine's ...

Press Reports: Yanukovich resigned, Timoshenko is free!

СМИ: Тимошенко вышла на свободу

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Только что появилась информация о том, что экс-премьер-министр Юлия Тимошенко якобы вышла из колонии.

» Юлия Тимошенко вышла на свободу - СМИ
22/02/14 08:31 from Новости Украины 24 часа в сутки : ЛІГАБізнесІнформ
Сообщается, что после принятия Радой постановления об освобождении, экс-премьер вышла на свободу

» Юле дали волю. Тимошенко освобождена из тюрьмы
22/02/14 08:49 from Субъективные новости
Парламент Украины принял постановление, позволяющее освободить от уголовного наказания экс-премьера страны Юлию Тимошенко. Юлия Тимошенко в субботу была освобождена из тюрьмы, сообщает агентство Ассошиэйтед Пресс со ссылкой на пресс-секр...

» Кириленко заявляет, что Янукович подал в отставку 
22/02/14 08:42 from ПОДРОБНОСТИ: Все новости
Народный депутат фракции "Батькiвщина" заявляет, что президент Украины Виктор Янукович подал в отставку. "Я думаю, что сейчас уже официально объявят вам всем, что Янукович подал в отставку, а Юлия Тимошенко на воле", - сказал он в эфире ...

» Катеринчук: О своей отставке Янукович сказал Яценюку
22/02/14 09:20 from
На брифинге в Верховной Раде Украины народный депутат Николай Катеринчук прокомментировал информацию об отставке Президента Виктора Януковича.

» Виктор Янукович подал в отставку - депутат Деревянко
22/02/14 09:16 from Новости Украины 24 часа в сутки : ЛІГАБізнесІнформ
Народный депутат от Партии регионов Анна Герман информацию об отставке президента опровергает

» Герман опровергла отставку Януковича
22/02/14 09:00 from СЕГОДНЯ | Самые актуальные новости, мнения, комментарии
Советник президента назвала данную информацию "спекуляциями"
» Юлия Тимошенко пока находится в больнице
22/02/14 09:00 from СЕГОДНЯ | Самые актуальные новости, мнения, комментарии
Освобождения Тимошенко ждут около 50 ее сторонников 

» Роскошь президентской резиденции Межигорье: фоторепортаж
22/02/14 09:00 from Новости Украины 24 часа в сутки : ЛІГАБізнесІнформ
Вчера или минувшей ночью резиденцию покинули президент Янукович и другие ее обитатели и обслуживающий персонал. На объект проходят все желающие

BBC News - Ukraine crisis: President's Kiev offices abandoned

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22 February 2014 Last updated at 06:19 ET
Oleg Boldyrev reports from inside the presidential complex
Ukrainian protesters have been able to enter the president's official and residential buildings in Kiev, after they were abandoned by police.
They have not gone into the offices themselves - stationing their own guards outside entrances. Police say they support the people.
President Viktor Yanukovych's aides say he is in Kharkhiv, close to Russia.
They have called for elections before 25 May, not the end of December as envisaged in Friday's peace deal.
Continue reading the main story

BBC correspondents in Ukraine

Kevin Bishop‏@bishopkbishop: "We do not know where president is" opposition spokesman at presidency.
Kevin Bishop ‏@bishopk: Self defence "We are holding outside of building. There are no workers of presidency inside"
Continue reading the main story
Duncan Crawford@_DuncanC: Lines of protesters - all in hard helmets, some of them armed with sticks - now guard the road outside the president's office.
This is where President Yanukovych and his staff normally work. All the doors are locked. There are a few security guards. Relaxed, smiling but not jubilant, protesters here say they want to restore order and avoid provocation, to bring life back to normal.
Continue reading the main story
Daniel Sandford ‏@BBCDanielS: Parliament are discussing @Yatsenyuk_AP as potential interim Prime Minister
Daniel Sandford ‏@BBCDanielS: I will now issue my usual warning. Speculation won't help today. We only know we haven't seen Yanukovich. It does not mean he has fled
Despite the EU-mediated agreement, thousands of people have remained on the streets of Kiev.
As parliament met on Saturday morning, its speaker Volodymyr Rybak resigned, citing ill health.
He has been replaced by Oleksandr Turchynov, an ally of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
Vitaly Klitschko, leader of the opposition Udar party, told MPs: "We must, as the people demand, adopt a resolution calling on Yanukovych to immediately resign."
Presidential aide Hanna Herman said Mr Yanukovych had travelled to Kharkiv in the east, close to the Russian border, from where he was to give a televised address.
A gathering of deputies from the south-east and Crimea - traditionally Russian-leaning areas - is taking place there, but Ms Herman said the president had "no intention" of attending.
"As much as some people want it, he has no intention to leave the country," she said.
'He's not here'
The protests first erupted in late November when Mr Yanukovych rejected a landmark association and trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia.
On Thursday, police opened fire on protesters who have been occupying Independence Square in central Kiev. The health ministry said 77 people - both protesters and police - have been killed since Tuesday.
For a second day, funerals are being held in the square.
Opposition guards outside parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine (22 Feb 2014)The parliament building was guarded by protesters on Saturday morning
Opposition guards inside presidential building Kiev (22 Feb 2014)Opposition guards showed BBC correspondents around the inside of the presidential compound
Protesters in a military vehicle in Independence Square, Kiev (22 feb 2014)One group of protesters has been driving around Independence Square in a military vehicle
Our correspondent says there is no sign of security forces inside the previously heavily guarded presidential complex and that journalists and protesters were able to enter freely.
"He's not here, none of his officials or anyone linked directly to the administration are here," said Ostap Kryvdyk, a protest leader, referring to the president.
The protesters said they were protecting the buildings from looting and vandalism.
Correspondents say police appear to have abandoned posts across the city, while the numbers gathered in Independence Square - known as the Maidan - are growing.
In a statement, the interior ministry said the police force was "at the service of the people and completely shares its aspirations for rapid changes".
"We pay homage to the dead," it added.
Anti-government protesters gather on the Independent square in Kiev on 21 February 2014.Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in Independence Square
Funeral for anti-government protester in Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine (22 Feb 2014)
The political pact was signed on Friday by President Yanukovych and opposition leaders after mediation by EU foreign ministers.
It says a unity government will be formed and elections held by the end of the year, but the opposition say this is not soon enough.
The deal has been met with scepticism by some of the thousands of protesters who remain in the square. Opposition leaders who signed it were booed and called traitors.
The agreement, published by the German foreign ministry, includes the following:
  • The 2004 constitution will be restored within 48 hours and a national unity government will be formed within 10 days
  • Constitutional reform balancing the powers of president, government and parliament will be started immediately and completed by September
  • A presidential election will be held after the new constitution is adopted but no later than December 2014, and new electoral laws will be passed
  • An investigation into recent acts of violence will be conducted under joint monitoring from the authorities, the opposition and the Council of Europe
  • The authorities will not impose a state of emergency and both the authorities and the opposition will refrain from the use of violence
  • 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 will be handed over to interior ministry bodies
The US and Russian presidents have agreed that the deal needs to be swiftly implemented, officials say.
Continue reading the main story

Ukraine's main opposition figures

  • Vitaly Klitschko - former boxer who leads the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (or Udar, meaning "Punch"). Previously rejected offer of deputy PM's role
  • Oleh Tyahnybok - leader of the far-right Svoboda (Freedom) party
  • Arseniy Yatsenyuk - leader of Fatherland, Ukraine's second-largest party. Previously ran for president and has turned down offer of prime minister's role
  • Yulia Tymoshenko - former leader of Fatherland, in jail for abuse of power in what her allies say was an attempt to silence her
Russia's Vladimir Putin told Barack Obama in a telephone conversation on Friday that Russia wants to be part of the implementation process, a US State Department spokesperson said.
Shortly after the deal was signed, Ukraine's parliament approved the restoration of the 2004 constitution, which reduces the powers of the president.
All but one of the 387 MPs present voting in favour, including dozens of MPs from Mr Yanukovych's own Party of Regions.
Parliament also approved an amnesty for protesters accused of involvement in violence, and for a change in the law which could lead to the release for Mrs Tymoshenko.
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