Kiev (AFP) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Tuesday slammed opposition calls for revolution as a “threat to national security” in a meeting with predecessors called in a bid to defuse an escalating standoff over a rejected EU pact.
“Calls for a revolution pose a threat to national security,” he told ex-leaders Leonid Kuchma, Leonid Kravchuk and Viktor Yushchenko in the landmark meeting.
“I want that this dark page is turned and is never allowed to happen again.”
But in a nod to the opposition, he said he had asked the general prosecutor to secure the release of some of the demonstrators arrested after clashes with police.
Yanukovych, without giving further details, said he would work for the release of those who had not committed serious violence. He also implied the security forces bore some responsibility for clashes.
“Working is going on to find the lawbreakers on both sides. There are guilty on both sides,” he said.
“I am not a supporter of reacting harshly and having people judged. The country must live on and develop,” he added.
A senior delegation — led by the powerful First Deputy Prime Minister Sergiy Arbuzov — would also likely travel to Brussels for talks on an integration pact with the EU on Wednesday, Yanukovych added.