Monday, January 27, 2014

Ukraine Pres. Gives Ground to Soften Protesters; Agrees to Hold Vote of No Confidence in the Govt.

President Viktor Yanukovych moved today (January 27, 2014) to ease the anti-government protests sweeping Ukraine that are threatening his rule, by agreeing to repeal anti-dissent laws and to hold a vote of no confidence in the government, the Wall Street Journal website reports.

But the concessions -- announced by his justice minister after a fourth round of talks with opposition leaders today -- remain far short of the protesters' main demand for snap presidential elections.

The proposals are likely to be voted on at an extraordinary session of Parliament tomorrow, called to try to end more than two months of mass anti-government protests in Kiev -- the capital of Ukraine -- that began after Yanukovych turned his back on a trade-and-political deal with the European Union (EU) at the last minute in favor of ties with Russia.

Protests spread from Kiev in recent days, as demonstrators seized government headquarters in several regional capitals in Ukraine's west and center, where Yanukovych is least popular.

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