Former Ukrainian president urges national dialogue

Viktor Yuschenko, who served as Ukrainian president from 2005-2010, addressed an international roundtable on Monday at parliament where he called for national dialogue "as soon as possible" to respond to the political crisis.
Posted By JC Finley  |  Feb. 3, 2014 at 8:24 AM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko spoke in parliament Monday, where he urged the government to host a national dialogue in response to the political crisis that has gripped Ukraine since November.

Addressing an international roundtable entitled "The Democratic Process and the Threats of Radicalism in Ukraine," the former president said:

"Anyone who wishes Ukrainian people peace and mutual understanding should work on one thing -- to organize as soon as possible a national table, round or square, and a national dialogue on dozens of issues that make us not opposites, but [just] different in Ukraine."

Yuschenko, who was president from 2005 to 2010, acknowledged that the peaceful protests were because 70 percent of Ukrainians support European Union integration.

Euromaidan demonstrations began in November following the president's announcement that Ukraine would not join the EU and have continued for months, despite the freezing temperatures and threat of violence. Protesters at Euromaidan rallies, led by the government opposition parties, have voiced their opposition to Ukraine's economic ties to Russia and have demanded constitutional reform, a more balanced government power structure, and the removal of the president.

[Interfax Ukraine News Agency]

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