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Kravchuk, Kuchma, Yuschenko propose national roundtable, resume talks with EU

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Dec. 6, 2013, 3:18 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

Three ex-presidents of Ukraine: Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yuschenko, have said they support the Ukrainians who are protesting against the government's refusal to sign the EU Association Agreement, but warn there are possible dangerous consequences.
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Three ex-presidents of Ukraine: Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yuschenko, have said they support the Ukrainians who are protesting against the government's refusal to sign the EU Association Agreement, but warn there are possible dangerous consequences.

"We express our sympathy with the peaceful civil actions of hundreds of young Ukrainians…It's unacceptable to settle strategic issues of Ukraine's development without a public discussion and rational explanation," reads a joint report from three ex-presidents posted on Wednesday.

"Firstly Ukrainian people went to the streets with non-political demand, which met unprecedented mass support… However, a way out of the crisis hasn't been found yet. The crisis is getting worse and we see a risk of control over the situation being lost," the report read.

According to the presidents, "the apogee was use of extreme force against peaceful demonstrators."

"There was a dangerous precedent in the history of Ukrainian independence, when the authorities used force to disperse a peaceful Maidan. The cruelty with which police subdivisions acted, should not just be condemned in public, but also punished according to the Ukrainian law as absolutely unacceptable in a democratic country," the letter reads.

The presidents said the parties must urgently abandon any attempts to settle political issues with the use of force. Calls to seize administrative buildings, revolutionary actions, the introduction of the emergency state, disobedience of definite cities and regions to central authorities, contraposition of Ukrainians from East and West should be stopped as dangerous and unpredictable actions," the presidents said.

The politicians see "a way-out in open dialogue with the civil society."

"To settle the political crisis it's necessary to conduct a nationwide roundtable involving real institutions of civil society, who have earned the respect of Ukrainian citizens and could logically and fairly present their position. The valuable foundation of such a dialogue should be democracy, equality, freedom of expression of somebody's position, the European aspirations of the Ukrainian people, and the trust and honesty of all participants," the presidents said.

They also called for a resumption of the talks with European institutions concerning the signing of the Association Agreement.

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