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Ukraine opposition to attend crisis talks with president

AFP , Friday 13 Dec 2013

The three main Ukrainian opposition leaders, including world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, agreed on Friday to sit down for talks with President Viktor Yanukovych in a bid to defuse the country's most serious crisis in a decade.

Klitschko told protesters on Independence Square that he, nationalist leader Oleg Tyagnybok and the head of the party of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, would be attending the talks.

"We have the impression that he (Yanukovych) is not listening to us, maybe his television is not working, maybe he is not being given the information," the boxer turned politician said.

"We want to look him in the eye and say our main demands and hear the answer," he said.

The talks are expected to take place later on Friday.

The opposition wants the punishment of police who crushed a small rally on November 30 and the resignation of the government.

Yatsenyuk added that the opposition leaders remained defiant.

"We are going to Yanukovych to hand over our demands. We are going to say that we will stand here and fight until our joint Ukrainian victory," he added.

The office of the president, who has called on the opposition to renounce "ultimatums", said earlier Friday he would personally take part in "round table" talks chaired by post-Soviet Ukraine's first president Leonid Kravchuk. 

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