Ukraine Gov't Ratifies EU Pact 09/16 06:22
Ukraine's parliament ratified an agreement to deepen economic and political
ties with the European Union on Tuesday, and passed legislation to grant
autonomy to the rebellious east as part of a peace deal.
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's parliament ratified an agreement to
deepen economic and political ties with the European Union on Tuesday, and
passed legislation to grant autonomy to the rebellious east as part of a peace
The ratification vote draws a line under the issue that last year sparked
Ukraine's crisis, which resulted in the ousting of the president, the
annexation of Crimea by Russia and a war with the Russia-backed separatists
that has killed more than 2,600 people.
Earlier in the day, the parliament in closed session approved two bills on
granting greater autonomy to the rebellious regions in the east as well as
amnesty for most of those involved in the fighting. The bills are part of a
tenuous peace process that saw a cease-fire called on Sept. 5 but that has been
The city council in Donetsk says three people were killed in shelling
The EU association agreement was long sought by Ukrainians who want their
country to turn westward and out of Russia's sphere of influence. After
then-President Viktor Yanukovych shelved the deal last year, protests broke out
that eventually spiraled into violence and led to Yanukovych fleeing the
In the wake of that, Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and a
pro-Russia rebellion broke out in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces in April launched a military operation to put down the
rebellion, which it claims gets substantial support including troops and
equipment from Russia.
Just before the ratification vote, President Petro Poroshenko told the
parliament that Ukrainians who died in the protests and in the eastern fighting
"have died not only for their motherland. They gave up their lives for us to
take a dignified place among the European family."