Accessibility links

Breaking News

Fuele Meets Opposition Leaders In Kyiv

Near the barricades in Kyiv, riot police stand behind crosses installed by anti-government protesters in memory of the people who have died and went missing.
Near the barricades in Kyiv, riot police stand behind crosses installed by anti-government protesters in memory of the people who have died and went missing.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele has met with Ukrainian opposition leaders in Kyiv.

Fuele arrived in the Ukrainian capital earlier on February 11 in a fresh bid to help defuse the country's political crisis.

No details were released after the February 11 meeting. Fuele is due to hold more talks on February 12.

Ukraine has been rocked by demonstrations since President Viktor Yanukovych pulled out of a deal on closer ties with the European Union last November.

On February 10, EU foreign ministers debated whether to impose sanctions on Ukraine if it continues to use violence against protesters.

The ministers also suggested the EU could offer Ukraine even closer ties in the future.

On February 11, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that EU relations with Ukraine would not "end" with the association agreement that Yanukovych shelved in favor of closer ties with Russia.

"The [Association] agreement is not the end. Now, there can be different interpretations of where the eventual relationship with Ukraine might go and if you put all the member states here they might have different interpretations. But were everybody agreed, because conclusions are always unanimous, was that it is not the end, that we want to strengthen and deepen the relationship beyond that," Ashton said.

Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, meanwhile, has for now turned down an offer by Yanukovych to debate.

Klitschko did say he would be ready to debate Yanukovych if snap elections were called, a key opposition demand.

"Right now, main point, right now to fix the problem. Huge crisis, political crisis and economic crisis, right now in Ukraine. And from debate nothing happens. The main point to fix the problem and after that I would be ready anytime to talk to him. But it will be very good if we make debate during the presidential campaign. It's normal practice for all the world," Klitschko said to reporters in Kyiv on February 11.

The next planned presidential elections are scheduled for 2015.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian court has rejected an appeal by jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to ease her detention conditions.

Lawyers for Tymoshenko had applied to the court in the eastern town of Kharkiv, where Tymoshenko is being held mostly in a prison hospital, to allow her to use a mobile phone, have more visitors and take walks around the town.

The court on February 11 rejected the appeal.

Tymoshenko was jailed in 2011 for seven years for abuse of power.

The European Union has condemned her imprisonment as political and urged Yanukovych to free her.

Based on AP and Reuters reporting

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.