Home Breaking News Ukraine: Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders agree to scrap anti-protest laws

Ukraine: Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders agree to scrap anti-protest laws


Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders have agreed to scrap anti-protest laws that had fuelled anger at the government, the presidency announces.

Viktor Yanukovych also offered an amnesty to protesters, but only if they cleared barricades and stopped attacking government buildings.

The president made the offer in talks with the three main opposition leaders.

The demonstrators had demanded the protest law be repealed, but they also want Viktor Yanukovych to quit.

The law was hastily passed in parliament by Viktor Yanukovych loyalists on January 16.

President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders have agreed to scrap anti-protest laws that had fuelled anger at the government

President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders have agreed to scrap anti-protest laws that had fuelled anger at the government

The changes included a ban on unauthorized tents in public areas, and criminal responsibility for slandering government officials.

Correspondents say it is likely to be overturned during a special session of parliament on Tuesday, arranged last week to discuss the crisis.

The law angered protesters and helped to spread unrest across Ukraine, even to Viktor Yanukovych’s Russian-speaking strongholds in the east.

The protesters, closely allied to the opposition parties, targeted government buildings and have briefly occupied several ministries in Kiev.

Viktor Yanukovych began the latest round of talks on Monday evening with Fatherland leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Udar (Punch) chief Vitali Klitschko, and nationalist leader Oleg Tyahnybok.

Meanwhile, top EU diplomat Catherine Ashton has brought forward a planned visit to Ukraine by 48 hours and will now arrive on Tuesday for meetings with Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders.

She said she was “alarmed” by reports on Monday that the government was preparing to introduce a state of emergency.

Multiple reports had suggested that the government was intending to invoke a state of emergency, but officials later said they had no such plan.

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