Europe praises Ukrainian deal, others call it betrayal


October 2, 2019 - 10:05 AM

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia and European powers, anxious to end a protracted military conflict in eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday welcomed the new accord between Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists but many in Ukraine dismissed it as a capitulation to Russia.

In the deal signed Tuesday with the separatists, Ukraine, Russia and European mediators pledged to hold a local election in Ukraine’s rebel-held east, where a grinding five-year conflict between the separatists and Ukrainian troops has killed more than 13,000 people.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed the deal as a major step toward resolving the conflict, and the election pledge was seen as the final hurdle before a much-anticipated summit between Zelenskiy, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of France and Germany, who have helped mediate the peace talks. Russia had previously refused to sit down with Zelenskiy before he agreed on the plan for the local election in war-torn eastern Ukraine.

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