Ukraine president, protest leaders agree on truce

Lithuanians burn a  bonfire during the protest against the violence in Ukraine in front of the Lithuania  Parliament building  in Vilnius, Lithuania, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The deadly clashes in Ukraine's capital have drawn sharp reactions from Washington, sparked a rapidly growing push for European Union sanctions and led to a Kremlin statement blaming Europe and the West. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
Lithuanians burn a bonfire during the protest against the violence in Ukraine in front of the Lithuania Parliament building in Vilnius, Lithuania, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The deadly clashes in Ukraine's capital have drawn sharp reactions from Washington, sparked a rapidly growing push for European Union sanctions and led to a Kremlin statement blaming Europe and the West. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s embattled president and leaders of the protests roiling the country agreed Wednesday on a truce, following a flareup of violence that left at least 26 people dead in the capital.

A brief statement on the presidential website said President Viktor Yanukovych met with opposition leaders and they called for a truce and for negotiations on ending bloodshed to begin.

The statement did not give details of what a truce would entail or how it would be implemented.

The statement also did not specify how the negotiations would be conducted or give an indication of how they could be different from previous meetings of the president and the opposition leaders.

But one of the protest leaders, Vitali Klitschko, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying after the meeting that Yanukovych had ensured them there would be no attempt to storm the protesters’ encampment on the main square of downtown Kiev.

There, flames from burning barricades of tires and refuse leapt into the air for a second night, as protesters demanding Yanukovych’s resignation showed no sign of yielding.

 

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