Ukraine Rulers Ready for Dialogue with Pro-EU Protesters
Ukraine's ruling Party of Regions group at the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) is ready to discuss the situation in the country with the opposition and pro-EU civil activists protesting in downtown Kiev.
The news was reported Monday by the Russian RIA Novosti, citing Oleksandr Yefremov (Aleksandr Yefremov) , head of the parliamentary group of the Party of Regions.
Yefremov has said that his fraction was prepared to participate in a roundtable meeting to seek solutions and common ground with those protesting on Independence square in the Ukrainian capital. He has added that there was a possibility for the government to join the dialogue.
Thousands of citizens and university students have been staging mass rallies for over a week in Kiev against their President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign the Association Agreement with the EU.
Rallies have been reported in the cities of Odessa and Lvov as well.
Ukraine made the decision on the EU deal over a week ago, saying it could not afford to break ties with Moscow. Russia is trying to bring Kiev into its own customs union
The signing of the association agreement was set for November 29 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.
Last Friday - as Yanukovych attended the EU summit - about 10 000 demonstrators took to Independence Square, carrying Ukrainian and EU flags and chanting "Ukraine is Europe".
Around 4:30 am Saturday morning, Berkut, the special units of the Ukrainian police, dispersed the remaining demonstrators with batons and teargas and pushed them out of the central Maiadan square.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainians rallied again on Sunday despite a new government ban on protests in the city center until January 7 2014.
The rally proceeded peacefully until a group of protesters tried to storm the nearby presidential administration building with an excavator, causing riot police to use teargas, batoss and flash grenades to disperse them.
Another group tried to demolish a monument of Lenin in downtown Kiev.
Dozens of people injured in the clashes were taken away by ambulance.
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