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EU Welcomes Deal Between Ukrainian Rivals

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych (left) with President Viktor Yushchenko in 2006 (epa) May 28, 2007 -- The European Union has welcomed the agreement between rival Ukrainian leaders to end the country's political crisis by holding early parliamentary elections on September 30.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said in a statement that he congratulates Ukrainian leaders for their "show of commitment to democracy."

Solana said he is hopeful the agreement between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych will allow Ukraine to return its focus to implementing reforms to deepen the partnership between the European Union and Ukraine.

The two leaders have been engaged in a political struggle that intensified in April, when Yushchenko issued a decree to dissolve parliament and hold early elections. Yushchenko claimed that the order was justified by what he said was Yanukovych's attempt to usurp power.


Ukrainian Voices

Ukrainian Voices

RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service asked people on the streets of Kyiv on April 11 whether the Constitutional Court will be able to determine the constitutionality of the president's decree dissolving parliament.

Oksana, a student from Lutsk:
"Their decision will at any rate be beneficial to one of the political forces."

Oleksandr, a high-school student:
"[The court] will be able to do it, but only if the judges agree upon it."

Alla Asilyevna, a pensioner:
"How can the Constitutional Court solve the problem if there is pressure on it from all sides?"

Ivan Yukhimovich, a pensioner:
"If [Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych and [President Viktor]Yushchenko find an agreement, everything will be resolved."

Yuliya, a worker:
"I doubt very much that the judges will agree on anything."

RFE/RL's coverage of Ukraine. The Ukrainian-language website of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service.