Ukraine and EU leaders have signed a historic agreement which will bring Ukraine closer to the West. The agreement which will come into force in January 2016 is of great historic and geopolitical significance. The agreement involves a wide spectrum of agreements. Ukraine will have to abide by EU standards of human rights, security, arms control and will be open to free trade.
In another landmark development, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko granted amnesty to the rebels fighting in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. He announced special status for the region for 3 years as that will ensure sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. This will further open the gates for decentralization. It has been clarified that the amnesty will come into force only when the rebels give up their arms, release all hostages and give up occupation of the public offices. The authorities have taken exception to the rebels who were involved in the deliberate shooting down of Malaysian airliner MH17.
Russia has expressed its unhappiness over the new political developments in the neighborhood as it has always opposed any move by Ukraine to form an alliance with EU. The recent troop build-up by NATO forces along the borders of Russia as part of the Rapid Trident Exercises which will continue till September 26 has not been well-perceived by Russia. Russia has started moving troops to the newly annexed territory of Crimea. Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has stated that the foreign military presence has made it imperative on Russia to lay utmost importance on the security of Crimea. He also added that the developments can destabilize the fragile ceasefire and the on-going peace efforts and talks.
The West has welcomed the new developments in the region. US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has expressed his contentment via his twitter message. He stood in favor of the Association Agreement which will serve as the basis for a prosperous and democratic rule free from all vices of corruption.