Ukrainian govt, opposition talks remain unfruitful; protesters ready for mass rally

KIEV: The first round of talks between the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition leaders remained unsuccessful in the capital Kiev as no concrete solutions were reached to calm political tension in the protest-hit country.

Meanwhile, a large number of demonstrators are arriving in Kiev for a mass protest rally scheduled for Sunday as a part of their efforts to force the government to resign because it refused to sign a trade and cooperation deal with the European Union (EU) last month.

Following the talks held in the National Arts Palace in Kiev, the opposition leader Vytaliy Klychko expressed his dissatisfaction over the talks, saying that there was no decision on any of our key demands which included resignation of the government and early elections among others.

Klychko called upon the people to come to streets to join the pretests and press the government to meet their demands.

On the other hand, as a part of fulfilling a key demand of the protesters, a court in Ukraine released nine people arrested during police and pro-EU demonstrators near the presidential administration building in Kiev on November 30.

The development came after the Ukrainian president on Friday proposed amnesty for the pro-EU protestors, saying in a statement that authorities should release the arrested people and even those who have already been convicted.

The president said that we should put an end to this conflict.

The violent protests were triggered in Kiev after the government refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the EU at the third Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on November 29.

Ukraine refused to sign the agreement after the EU leaders called on Ukraine to allow jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymshenko to travel overseas for medical treatment.

The EU blamed Russia for Ukraine’s refusal to sign a trade deal with the bloc, saying they will not allow Moscow to veto deals in Eastern Europe.

On the other hand, Ukraine has said that it cannot afford to sacrifice trade with Russia for closer ties with the EU.