Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma says the two rivals hoping to replace him have reached what he calls a compromise, as efforts to break the country's electoral deadlock continue.
Pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych was the declared winner of the November runoff election. Pro-western opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko is challenging the results in the Supreme Court, charging massive election fraud. The court could decide to order a re-vote.
Mr. Kuchma said Wednesday both men agreed not to use force to end the standoff. Mr. Yushchenko has also agreed to end an opposition blockade of government buildings.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yanukovych and other pro-Russian officials agreed on the need to preserve Ukraine's territorial integrity. Lawmakers in eastern Ukraine have threatened to declare autonomy if he does not become president.
NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says the Ukrainian crisis must not become an East-West rivalry and that democracy must be respected.