Ukraine’s Warring Factions Sign Peace Pact

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Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) –- Former Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer and CSIS Russia & Eurasia Program Deputy Director and Fellow Jeffrey Mankoff discuss the next steps for Ukraine as the country moves away from the violence. They speak to Matt Miller and Julie Hyman on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

What do you think about this?

We have had a couple reports of truces in the last few days and it has always ended with more violence.

I think this agreement is important as it offers a path out of the crisis for ukraine.

But it is fragile.

There will be those who see this as threatening personal and economic interests.

There are people in the main protest square who want to see mr.

Yanukovych gone right now.

They do not want to wait until the fall.

I think they have already voiced that to opposition leaders.

There is the ominous sign that the russian representative was there to witness.

He initialed with the three european ministers who initialed the draft agreement, but apparently after a phone conversation with moscow, he did not sign the agreement.

Mr.

liukin did not sign.

The russians abstained from the signing of it.

Russia, the bond issue, the way they lend money, aid to ukraine was not launched yesterday.

Does this mean the russians are stepping back a bit, which is one of the things the protesters want, isn't it?

I think the russians are in a week and see mode right now.

It was clear they were skeptical of any transition to the government backed by the opposition, and the decision to hold off on signing the truce and to withhold the bonds is waiting to see what kind of government they are going to get.

I wanted to ask about another element today, the former prime minister, yulia tymoshenko, being released from prison.

How does that change the situation?

Does it further inflame the protesters?

Does she come back and get involved right away?

First of all, she never should have been sent to prison.

It was trumped up charges, a sham trial.

If she returns to the political scene, how does she react with the established opposition leaders?

Can they work together and move forward, or does it become more complicated?

We just do not know at this point.

I wonder, mr.

Ambassador, how likely it is that we see mr.

Jim risch and go -- mr.

Yannick over stay in power --mr.

Yanukovich stay in power?

I'm sorry.

See who stay in power?

The president's day empower.

Yanukovich, i mean.

When we have not seen any of the leaders.

In the arab spring, it's obviously a different dynamic.

There are more lives at stake.

Can he hold on?

Sure.

Even before the crisis last summer, mr.

Yanukovich's poll numbers were way down.

He has only discredited himself with the handling of the crisis over the past three months.

I am almost 99.9% certain if the election is free and fair -- and the ukrainians know how to do a free and fair election --mr.

Yanukovich will be a one term president.

That is a long way off, december 2012. i'm sorry, 2014. is it possible to hold onto power until december?

The elections were supposed to be held in early 2015. the protesters demanded the elections be moved out.

You have the whole snap election.

Elections have been moved up four or five months.

That still leaves us with nine months.

I do not think the protesters, the opposition who demand that victor jan vukovich -- viktor yanukovich step down going to accept that.

Yanukovich's handling of the crisis has been really inept.

And the blood being shed has made it difficult for him to stay power -- stay in power until december.

Jeff, with this agreement being signed, this is talking about the actual split of the country into an eastern and western portion, and easter portion that would have those are ties to russia and the western portion that would have closer ties to the west and the european union.

How likely do you think that is?

I never thought that prospect was particularly likely, no matter what.

There is a blind spot when it comes to ukraine, particularly in russia.

I think there is a sense that the eastern ukrainians, most of them who speak russian as a first language, have a closer relationship with russia, and certainly political and economic ties with russia, but they see themselves as ukrainians.

They do not want to be part of a russian state or a russian satellite.

There are definitely tensions in the dynamic.

That is one of the things that will define ukrainian politics in a more democratic era.

But the notion of the country splitting apart into an east and west, i'm a little bit skeptical that is going to be the taste.

Even if you look during the protest, there was mass mobilization in the west on behalf of the agreement with ee you in favor of a change in government.

You did not see anything analogous in the east.

There were not mass protests of people saying "we're with russia." i accidentally referred to president yanukovich as temoshen ko.

I always think of him, because he was poisoned.

There is the question of who poisoned him, but it was likely kgb, putin, russia.

What happens if they lose the buffer zone that they are so interested in keeping?

I think the russians still have a lot of tools in the toolbox.

Those include financial assistance.

The situation with the economy is not going particularly well.

One of the russian responses was to extend the promise bond purchase they announced just a couple days ago.

That financial crisis is still hanging over ukraine.

There is of course the energy lever the russians have used on a number of occasions in the past.

And i should say when it comes to the separatist issue, i think the east-west eine amick gets

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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