Amnesty declared in Ukraine
PR dla Zagranicy
An amnesty came into force in Ukraine, Monday, after opposition activists fulfilled a pledge to withdraw from key positions in Kiev.
Protesters remove a barricade as they leave a gap for cars on the Grushevskogo street in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, 16 February 2014. Photo: EPA/Sergey Dolzhenko
Protesters finished pulling out of the town hall in Kiev on Sunday after occupying the building for two months, and barricades were pulled down in the vicinity.
As part of the deal, some 243 demonstrators who had been imprisoned have been freed by the authorities in recent days, relating to alleged offences committed between 27 December and 2 February.
Arseny Yatseniuk, one of the three main opposition leaders, has affirmed that about 2000 cases need to be dropped, and if this is not honoured, “peaceful protests” will follow.
At least six people are understood to have died as a result of the stand-off so far, and scores have been injured.
Poland's foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Friday that the “intensive talks” between Ukrainian authorities and the opposition should be seen as a positive sign.
Sikorski said this gave hope for the ultimate creation of “a new government that is rooted in new constitutional principles.”
However, he argued that it would be misguided to “interfere in Ukraine's internal affairs.”
The protests broke out after President Viktor Yanukovich dropped plans to sign an association agreement with the EU in November.
Sikorski has said that the “pro-European aspirations” of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who turned out to protest should be considered as a “significant political fact,” in spite of Yanukovich's bid to cooperate more closely with Russia. (nh)