KIEV, December 10 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Tuesday held meetings with three former presidents and EU foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton.
The meeting with former Ukrainian Presidents Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko was “dedicated to discussing the most important issues that the country faces,” the presidential press service said Tuesday.
The press service also said Yanukovych held a meeting with Ashton, but it did not elaborate.
Street protests have been taking place in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities since the government announced late last month that it would postpone the signing of free-trade and association agreements with the EU in favor of strengthening ties with Moscow.
Opposition leaders in Kiev have accused Russia of pressuring Yanukovych to reject the deal with the EU, a charge denied by Moscow.
Kravchuk said after the meeting that Yanukovych pledged to free detained protesters.
The day before, Yanukovych supported Kravchuk’s idea to hold a nationwide round table involving representatives from both the authorities and the opposition to seek compromises in the current situation.
Kravchuk also said Tuesday that Kiev might sign an association agreement with the EU in the spring should a compromise solution be found.
He added that those law enforcement officers allegedly involved in beating Kiev protesters more than a week ago would be suspended from work until the end of an investigation.
A Ukrainian delegation may head for Brussels for association talks with the EU on Wednesday, Yanukovych said at the meeting with the three former presidents.
He said the Ukrainian government should complete discussing conditions for association with the EU with account for Ukrainian manufacturers’ interests by March 2014.