KIEV Feb 19 Ukrainian President Viktor
Yanukovich said on Wednesday he had agreed a "truce" with
opposition leaders, after street violence in which at least 26
people were killed, and a start to negotiations to end further
A statement on the presidential website said that during
talks with the three main opposition leaders, Yanukovich had
agreed firstly a truce and secondly "the start to negotiations
with the aim of ending bloodshed, and stabilising the situation
in the state in the interests of social peace."
The statement, issued on the eve of a visit by the foreign
ministers of Germany, Poland and France, appeared to indicate
that riot police who on Tuesday night advanced on to Kiev's
Independence Square would not take further immediate steps to
break up the encampment of protesters.
Former economy minister Arseny Yatseniuk, one of the
opposition leaders, said in a statement on the website of his
Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party: "The storming of the Maidan
(Independence Square) which the authorities had planned today
will not take place.
"A truce has been declared. The main thing is to protect
human life," he said.
Yanukovich issued his statement after meeting Yatseniuk and
the two other opposition leaders, boxer-turned-politician Vitaly
Klitschko and far-right nationalist Oleh Tyahnibok.