Feb 21, 2014

By AM740 Staff

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Ukraine’s newly empowered parliament has voted to allow the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko after more than two years in prison. That that was one of the demands of the protesters occupying Kyiv’s central square. Legislators voted to decriminalize the action under which she was imprisoned, meaning that she is no longer guilty of a criminal offense. And earlier today Ukraine’s opposition leaders signed a deal with the president and European mediators for early elections and a new government in hopes of ending deadly confrontations. It could be a major breakthrough in a months-long political crisis that worsened sharply this week and left scores of people dead. A key question is whether the thousands of protesters camped out in Kyiv will abide by it. Two opposition spokeswomen say the deal was signed in the Ukrainian president’s office today, but had no details. The signing came hours after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced early presidential elections and promised to bring opposition members into the government. He did not give a time frame.

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