Ukrainian President Considers Amnesty for Protesters

Weeks of demonstrations, at times violent, appear to have worked.

Protesters shout slogans during a rally of the opposition at Independence Square in Kiev on Dec. 13, 2013.
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The president of Ukraine has proposed granting amnesty to all those facing criminal charges for the ongoing pro-EU demonstrations in the Eastern European nation, which has witnessed hundreds of thousands flooding the streets and at times clashing with security forces.

[READ: Ukrainian President Intends to Sign EU Deal After All]

President Viktor Yanukovych met with representatives from the government opposition on Friday, where he offered amnesty and issued a statement in which he admitted security forces may have acted inappropriately at times.

Protesters remain in the capital city Kiev's central square, where they have built massive barricades of debris, snow and ice in an attempt to repel police crackdowns.

"There should be amnesty, in order to give guarantees that the process of confrontation will stop," the president said, according to a report from the Associated Press. "I am outraged by the radical actions on both sides ... from the side of provocateurs and from the side of the security forces, which have not always behaved properly."

Opposition representatives said they only attended the meeting with Yanukovych to air their demands, not to negotiate.

[ALSO: Ukrainian Protesters Continue to Rally Despite Parliament’s Failure to Oust the Government]

The ongoing civil unrest in recent weeks stemmed from Yanukovych's refusal to sign economic accords with the European Union, a move many believe could help the financially struggling former Soviet republic.

Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov said Thursday that Ukraine would move forward with a deal, following reports that the EU had promised more aid. The deal would be "bigger and better," said EU Commissioner Stefan Fuele, and could offset Yanukovych's concerns about a drop in Russian trade following an agreement with the EU.

The Associated Press has more information on the deal.

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