KIEV, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The first talks between Ukrainian authorities and opposition since start of pro-European protests ended Friday with moderate understanding between the sides.
The negotiators from the authorities were led by President Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, and the opposition by three protests leaders -- Vitali Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk, and Oleg Tyangybok.
Local public figures have also participated in the talks.
The conditions outlined by the opposition leaders for reaching the agreement with the authorities were: resignation of the government over the violent clashes between the riot police and demonstrators and release of political prisoners.
Yanukovych accepted the opposition request to release from custody the innocent people who were detained during the clashes and promised to punish those responsible for the conflict, whether police or protesters.
"I am outraged by the radical actions that have taken place in the Independence Square. Both provocateurs and security forces behaved inappropriately in certain cases," Yanukovych said.
Speaking about the possible resignation of the government, the president said that only the parliament has legal instruments to deprive the cabinet of power.
On Dec. 3 Ukraine's parliament rejected a no-confidence motion against the government. Protests broke out in Ukraine following a cabinet decision to suspend the signing of the long-anticipated partnership agreement with the European Union (EU).
Discontent intensified after policemen dispersed camping demonstrators at the Independence Square in the heart of Kiev.
During the roundtable, Azarov backed his cabinet decision to halt an agreement, saying that it would have harmed economy, and pledged to work further to forge ties with the 28-member block.
"We want to agree with the EU the conditions that would allow equalizing the balance of bilateral trade," Azarov said.
BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Western powers have attempted to manipulate the opinions of the Ukrainian people over whether the country should sign a key trade and association pact with the European Union (EU).
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland flew to Kiev and offered support to protesters in Independence Square, joining the league of the opposition demanding the fall of democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovich. Full story
KIEV, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- At the moment, there is no need to involve international mediators to settle the political situation in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said on Thursday.
"I consider mediation as an extreme measure, which would have shown the inability of the government and the opposition to hold constructive negotiations," Kozhara was quoted by Interfax-Ukraine news agency as saying. Full story