KIEV, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton on Wednesday called on Ukrainian authorities to establish an open dialogue with society to ease the escalating political crisis.
"The authorities should solve the issues through dialogue and ensure the right of citizens for peaceful demonstrations," Ashton said after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Ashton emphasized that the Ukrainian government should refrain from using force against protesters to avoid provoking further demonstrations.
Meanwhile, Ashton voiced her hope for the peaceful settlement of Ukraine's political crisis and informed that Yanukovych pledged to take steps towards quick solution of the issue.
Earlier in the day, Ukrainian riot police tried to dismantle barricades and tents set up by pro-EU demonstrators in central Kiev. The country's Interior Ministry claimed that the action was to clear roads and was not to end the demonstration.
Protests started three weeks ago with peaceful demonstrations demanding the country's European integration, but soon snowballed into a violent nationwide movement against authorities.
Ukraine's pullout of signing a partnership agreement that would deepen its ties with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius last month triggered the protests.