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Mass Protests in Ukraine:President Yanukovych wants to talk to opposition / Breaking News

Interior ministry personnel stand guard opposite a barricade erected by supporters of EU integration in Kiev

In Ukraine, protesters block more with barricades several government buildings now apparently moved President Yanukovych. He has agreed to talks with the opposition and with his predecessors.

After days of mass protests, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will meet for talks with the opposition. This was announced by the Presidential Palace in Kiev on Monday. In addition, the head of state wanted to put together on Tuesday with his predecessors Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko, to discuss the political crisis in the country.

The three ex-presidents had stated in the past week in solidarity with the protesters and called for negotiations between the government and the opposition. Yanukovych had accepted “the initiative” of his predecessor, the Office of the President explained now. On Sunday also UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Yanukovych had called for dialogue with the opposition.

The Ukrainian government had canceled unexpectedly two weeks ago under pressure from Moscow, the planned signing of an Association Agreement with the European Union. Since there are in Kiev mass protests against the state leadership. The protests have plunged the country into its deepest political crisis since the Orange Revolution of 2004.

Ukraine Protests:Riot police marched on

On Monday, the demonstrators blocked several government buildings with barricades. The pro-European boxing champion Vitali Klitschko trailer for blocking streets and sidewalks with tree trunks, private cars and tents. The Interior Ministry moved on Monday because of the ongoing protests 700 additional members of a special unit to Kiev.

Before the occupied city hall of Kiev riot police moved on. From three buses streamed about 200 police wearing helmets, protective gear and shields. About 50 meters from the town hall they moved positions and obviously waiting for a deployment order. In the past week the police had asked the squatters to leave the City Hall within four days.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called on the government not to use force against demonstrators. “It would be disastrous if the peaceful protests to pressure, threats or violence, would benefit from whatever side, undermined,” Westerwelle said on Monday at the edge of a visit to Madrid.


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