MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met with opposition leaders on Saturday in an effort to resolve an escalating political crisis that has seen violent riots in the capital.
Yanukovych met with UDAR party head Vitali Klitschko, the head of the Batkivshchyna party’s parliamentary faction Arseny Yatsenyuk and the leader of the nationalist Svoboda party Oleg Tyagnibok, the president’s press service said in an online statement.
Dozens of demonstrators and riot police have been injured in a surge of violence that enveloped the capital Kiev last week after Ukraine’s government enacted laws severely restricting protests.
Anti-government protesters have brought the heart of Kiev to a standstill for almost two months by occupying the central Independence Square in response to a government decision to pull back from a deal to forge closer relations with the European Union in favor of enhanced ties with Russia.
While initially focused on the EU decision, discontent in Ukraine has steadily taken on a more general anti-government character.