Friday, February 21, 2014

Polish PM: Ukrainian President Willing to Hold Early Vote

The president of Ukraine told European foreign ministers Thursday that he is willing to hold early elections this year, the prime minister of Poland has told reporters. If confirmed, the concession could point to a possible exit from the violent crisis gripping the former Soviet nation, although it is likely the hardened opposition will settle for nothing short of President Viktor Yanukovych’s resignation. Foreign ministers from Poland, France and Germany are currently in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, to hold talks with Yanukovych and opposition leaders to assist in negotiating an end to unrest that has claimed dozens of lives. "The three ministers are in Kiev discussing a certain document, which gives a chance to bring an end to violence and achieve an agreement. A willingness for early elections, already this year, parliamentary as well as presidential, was agreed," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk was cited as saying by the Reuters news agency in Warsaw. Officials in Kiev say 67 people were killed in fighting over three days, although international media have reported higher figures. The Associated Press cited a doctor working with the opposition as saying at least 70 protesters had been killed and another 500 wounded. Interior Ministry says at least 13 police officers have been killed, many of them from gunfire. The violence in Ukraine is the worst the nation has seen since it gained independence in 1991.

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