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Merkel meets Ukrainian opposition leaders

February 18, 2014, 0:22 UTC+3 BERLIN

According to Klitschko, they “discussed the situation in Ukraine and ways to overcome the crisis” in the country for about an hour

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© AP Photo/Johannes Eisele

BERLIN, February 18, 0:18 /ITAR-TASS/. Germany's Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel is keen to see stability in Ukraine and is ready to assist in straightening the situation out, Ukrainian opposition politicians Vitaly Klitschko (UDAR party, or Punch) and Arseny Yatsenyuk (Batkivshchyna, or Fatherland) told a news conference in Berlin on Monday following a meeting with Merkel.

According to Klitschko, they “discussed the situation in Ukraine and ways to overcome the crisis” in the country for about an hour, the Chancellor showing herself “highly aware” of the affairs in Ukraine. She said it was in Germany’s and the EU’s interests to see Ukraine acquire political and economic stability, since unrest in Ukraine might destabilize the whole region, he added.

Klitschko expressed his satisfaction with the talks and a hope for further support in settling the conflict. “One should not underestimate Germany’s role and the personal influence of the chancellor” in efforts to resolve the political crisis, the opposition politician believes.

According to Yatsenyuk, proposals the Ukrainian opposition politicians presented to Merkel included sanctions against the incumbent Ukrainian government. Speaking of a possibility of the EU’s financial aid, leader of Batkivshchyna’s faction said the issue had been brought up during the talks.

“The EU is ready to provide financial aid to a new Ukrainian government, in particular via loans from the IMF and EU institutions,” he said. A macroeconomic package of 610 million euros was mentioned earlier, yet this was subject to further negotiations, added Yatsenyuk.

A law on amnesty took effect in Ukraine on Monday. It relieves protesters of criminal penalty for involvement in turbulent protest actions in December 2013 and January 2014. On Sunday the country's Prosecutor General confirmed that protesters had fulfilled the requirements of the law and had left administrative buildings and the downtown Grushevsky street in the capital of Kiev.

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