New York City, United Nations Headquarters
February 24, 2014
On February 21, 2014, the President of Ukraine V. Yanukovych on the one side and the opposition leaders Mr. V.Klychko, Mr. O.Tyahnybok and Mr. A.Yatsenyuk on the other side signed an Agreement on the Settlement of Crisis in Ukraine (the Agreement). Negotiations on the Agreement were held with the participation of the EU representatives, including Mr. R.Sikorski, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland, Mr. F. Steinmeier, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, and Mr. L. Fabius, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of France as well as Mr. V.Lukin, Special Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation.
At 10 a.m. on February 21, 2014, the text of the Agreement was approved by the parties and signed by V.Yanukovuch, V.Klychko, O.Tyahnybok, A.Yatsenyuk, R. Sikorski, F. Steinmeier and L. Fabius.
V.Lukin, Special Envoy of the Russian Federation, did not sign the Agreement, thereby not recognizing it.
According to the Agreement, within 48 hours after the signing of the Agreement a special law that would restore the Ukrainian Constitution of 2004 had to be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, signed by the President and made public.
The parties also agreed on the early presidential elections to be held immediately after the adoption of the new Constitution of Ukraine, but no later than in December, 2014. The parties agreed to refrain from the use of violence.
In order to implement the Agreement, the Verkhovna Rada adopted by the constitutional majority (386 votes) the Law of Ukraine "On Restoring Specific Provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine" that provided for the restoration of the Constitution of Ukraine of 2004.
Meanwhile, on February 22, 2014, V. Yanukovych publicly stated in a video-interview that he renounced the Agreement and had no intent to sign the law restoring the Constitution of 2004 adopted by the Parliament, left the city of Kyiv for unknown destination and, in fact, removed himself from his constitutional authority.
Taking into account the absence of a legitimate Government of Ukraine (resigned on January 28, 2014) and the President's self-removal from exercising his functions, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on February 22, 2014, being the only legitimate authority in Ukraine, adopted a Decree restoring the Constitution of Ukraine of June 28, 1996, as amended on December 8, 2004, February 1, 2011, and September 19, 2013.
The Parliament of Ukraine adopted the Decreewith the aim to restore the legitimacy of the constitutional order in Ukraine, based on its exclusive authority to amend the Constitution of Ukraine.
Moreover, considering the actual renunciation of the Agreement by V.Yanukovych, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on February 22, 2014, adopted the following decrees: "On the Removal of the President of Ukraine from his Constitutional Authority and Early Elections of President of Ukraine" and "On Assuming Political Responsibility for the Situation in Ukraine".
By these decisions the Parliament of Ukraine recognized that the President of Ukraine V. Yanukovych removed himself from his constitutional duties through unconstitutional means and did not perform his duties. The Parliament scheduled early elections of President of Ukraine for May 25, 2014.
According to Article 112 of the Constitution of Ukraine of 2004, in case of early termination of power of the President of Ukraine the functions of the President of Ukraine shall be carried out by Chairperson of the Parliament of Ukraine until a new President is elected and inaugurated. Therefore, taking into consideration the provision of the Constitution of Ukraine, the only legitimate supreme authority in Ukraine is the Parliament of Ukraine.
All decisions adopted by the Parliament are aimed at urgent forming of the constitutional authorities in Ukraine, expression of the sovereign will of Ukrainian people and restoration of the civil peace and order in Ukraine.
Thus, the opposition parties together with former ruling party majority at the Parliament have secured implementation of the Agreement at the situation when V.Yanukovych removed himself from his constitutional duties and renounced the Agreement.
In this regard, the allegation by the Russian Federation that the opposition failed to implement the Agreement is groundless and unconstructive. The Agreement was not fulfilled by the ex-President V.Yanukovych himself. This is confirmed by his actions, particularly, his refusal to sign the new law restoring the Constitution of Ukraine of 2004 adopted by the Parliament by 10 a.m. February 23, 2014, as it was provided for by the Agreement.
Moreover, the position of the Russian Federation is very surprising, given the fact that Russian Envoy V.Lukin, in fact, refused to recognize the Agreement before it was signed.