KIEV Jan 23 Ukrainian President Viktor
Yanukovich on Thursday called for an emergency session of
parliament to end the crisis in the country which has brought
thousands of anti-government protesters on to the streets and
caused violent clashes with police.
"Mass unrest has been accompanied by violence, bloodshed,
fires. That means that today the situation must be settled
immediately," the presidential website quoted Yanukovich as
telling parliament speaker Volodymyr Rybak.
Yanukovich's words, as he sat down to a fresh round of talks
with opposition leaders, were the first signs of a possible
willingness to make concessions to the opposition, which has
been calling for the dismissal of Yanukovich's government over
heavy-handed police tactics in two months of street unrest.
Speaker Rybak added to the sense of compromise, saying the
emergency session, which would be held early next week, could
consider the opposition's call for the government of Prime
Minister Mykola Azarov to step down.
Rybak also said "questions linked to laws passed by
parliament" could be discussed - apparently a reference to
sweeping anti-protest laws rammed through parliament last week
by Yanukovich loyalists.
These laws only served to boost mass demonstrations on the
streets of Kiev at the weekend, leading to violent clashes with
police, and the opposition is demanding they be repealed.