KIEV, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian parliament approved a bill late Wednesday to grant amnesty to protesters arrested during the anti-government rallies in Kiev and other major Ukrainian cities, the parliament's press service said Thursday.
With at least 226 votes needed to approve the bill, 232 lawmakers of the 416 present in the parliament supported the legislation.
According to the draft law, the police would free all protesters arrested during demonstrations since Nov. 21, only if they abandon within 15 days the buildings they have seized.
The bill would not apply to some administrative offices in central Kiev and a protester camp at the Independence Square, the main site of the protests.
The amnesty bill is one of the concessions from President Viktor Yanukovych to opposition aimed at ending the two-month protests, which left at least four activists dead and hundreds of people, including police officers, injured.
Protests in Ukraine turned violent about 11 days ago, when radical activists attacked riot police with fireworks and petrol bombs.
Hundreds of protesters have been detained for attacking police during the clashes. The activists also seized a score of administrative buildings in western, central and northern Ukraine.
Regional bloc leaders call for end of violence in Ukraine
BUDAPEST, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- The prime ministers of the Visegrad Group, which includes Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, on Wednesday called for an end to the violence in Ukraine.
"Escalation of the crisis endangers the future of Ukraine and threatens with a complete destabilization of the country," said a joint statement on Ukraine's situation issued by the group. Full story
Hungarian, Polish PMs call for cooling off in Ukraine
BUDAPEST, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and visiting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called for a compromise agreement in Ukraine at a meeting in Budapest on Wednesday.
The two held a bilateral meeting and a joint press conference ahead of a Visegrad Group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary) summit on the same topic set for Wednesday night. Full story
China calls for dialogue among Ukraine's parties
BEIJING, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday called for dialogue among Ukraine's various parties after the government was dissolved to calm mass rallies that have turned to violence.
"As a strategic partner, China respects the choice of the Ukrainians and supports the government and the people's efforts in preserving social harmony and stability," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing. Full story