Deal brings no immediate change to eastern Ukraine

NATALIYA VASILYEVA Associated Press Published:

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Pro-Russian militiamen who control government buildings in eastern Ukraine showed no sign of relenting Friday despite a deal between Russia and Ukraine.

The two agreed on Thursday to take tentative steps toward calming tensions along their shared border after more than a month of bloodshed. The surprise agreement, brokered by the United States and the European Union, appeared to tamp down the immediate crisis but offered no assurances for a long-term solution.

The deal calls for the immediate return of all government buildings seized by pro-Russian militia. But none of the government buildings seized across eastern Ukraine has yet been vacated, according to local media on Friday.

Acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the parliament Friday morning that the government has drafted a law that would offer amnesty to all those who will be willing to lay down their arms and leave the occupied government buildings.

On Thursday, thousands gathered at peaceful demonstrations in at least four eastern cities to denounce Russia for its perceived meddling in Ukrainian affairs. Political developments in eastern Ukraine have for weeks been dominated by a small but vocal and armed opposition to the interim government in Kiev.