Standard & Poor's ratings agency on Friday lowered Ukraine's long-term rating to 'CCC' saying the raging political crisis has put the government's ability to service its debt at risk and raised uncertainty over Russia providing promised aid.
"We now believe it is likely that Ukraine will default in the absence of significantly favourable changes in circumstances, which we do not anticipate," it said in a note. S&P's previous Ukraine rating was 'CCC+.' [Reuters]
Fighting broke out between deputies in Ukraine's parliament on Friday when the speaker declared a pause, delaying a debate on a possible resolution calling for President Viktor Yanukovich's powers to be reduced.
Several deputies exchanged blows as chaos descended on the chamber for several minutes. The speaker, Yanukovich ally Volodymyr Rybak, then left the chamber but some of the deputies continued the debate. [Reuters]
President Yanukovich announces early presidential elections as part of the agreement. [Reuters]
Under the new deal, Ukraine's constitution will be reformed by Sept. 2014, cutting presidential powers. [Reuters]
President Yanukovich promises the formation of a coalition government. [AP]
Ukraine rivals sign deal to end political crisis
Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski
"I am satisfied that this is the best agreement that we had. That it gives Ukraine chance to hopefully return to peace and .. to resume its way towards Europe."
Ukraine's newly empowered parliament has voted to remove the interior minister, widely blamed for ordering police violence against protesters.
Ukraine parliament speaker, who is a supporter of President Viktor Yanukovich, resigned on Saturday, according to AFP.
Ukraine's opposition is to seek parliamentary support on Saturday for a resolution calling on
President Viktor Yanukovich to resign, an opposition spokeswoman said.
"We will submit the resolution with the demand for Yanukovich to resign," Oksana Zinoviyeva, a spokeswoman for the 'Udar' party of Vitaly Klitschko, told Reuters. "It will allow the parliament to set the date for early elections," she said.
Klitschko told crowds on Kiev's Independence Square that he would seek support from lawmakers "to get rid of" Yanukovich, who was due to visit the northeastern city of Kharkiv on Saturday. [Reuters]