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Ukraine president offers government posts to opposition leaders

Source: Reuters - Sat, 25 Jan 2014 18:40 GMT
Author: Reuters
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By Richard Balmforth

KIEV, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich offered two opposition leaders top government posts on Saturday, the presidential website said, after the two sides met for talks aimed at seeking an end to a violent political crisis.

Former economy minister Arseny Yatsenyuk would be offered the post of prime minister and Vitaly Klitschko, an internationally known boxer, would be proposed as deputy prime minister responsible for humanitarian issues, the website said.

If Yatsenyuk accepts the post of prime minister the president would be ready to accept the resignation of the government of Mykola Azarov, the website said.

There was no immediate reaction from the opposition leaders, who have been calling for the dismissal of Azarov's government since unrest broke out in Kiev two months ago.

It was likely that after Saturday night's talks they would return to thousands of supporters massed on Kiev's Independence Square to report on their discussions with Yanukovich.

The presidential website said Yanukovich had promised that those detained during the unrest would be dealt with leniently if the opposition reined in radical protesters who have clashed with police and if they persuade those who have been occupying public buildings to leave.

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