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Merkel meets two Ukrainian opposition leaders

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) chats with Ukraine’s opposition leaders Vitaly Klitschko (L) and Arseny Yatsenyuk in Berlin on February 17, 2014.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with two Ukrainian opposition leaders just hours after the Ukrainian government granted amnesty to jailed protesters.

Merkel held the meeting with Ukrainian opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko and Arseni Yatsenyuk on Monday afternoon in Berlin.

During the closed-door talks, Klitschko and Yatsenyuk stressed the need for further financial support from the EU and sanctions against the Ukrainian government.

“We are determined to have an inclusive government in our country, not a corrupted one but a democratic and pro-European government. And this credible government could get the support of our European investment partners in order to stabilize the financial situation,” Yatsenyuk said at a press conference following the meeting.

He also added, “And we need to have a transparent relation with our Russian partners.”

Moreover, Klitschko called for more pressure to be exerted on the Ukrainian government.

“We’ve been calling for Ukrainian government members’ accounts to be frozen and for them to be barred from travelling into the EU – we now want a clear signal [regarding these demands],” Klitschko said.

On Sunday, the government of Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych declared an amnesty for protesters arrested during anti-government demonstrations.

The amnesty was granted after the opposition agreed to end its almost three-month occupation of the Kiev City Hall and evacuate other government’s buildings.

According to the decree, all charges filed against protesters between December 27 and February 2 will be dropped.

Ukraine has been rocked by anti-government protests since Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union on November 29, 2013, in favor of closer ties with Russia.


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