World Bulletin / News Desk
The European Parliament (EP) will send a delegation of 12 parliamentarians to Kiev for talks on January 28th to 30th amid ongoing protests spreading across Ukraine.
The delegation to be led by EP's Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Elmar Brok will hold talks with protesters on the street, opposition party representatives and Ukrainian government officials.
Protests have been taking place in Kiev since early December, after President Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych decided not to sign a trade agreement with the European Union (EU) in favor of closer ties with Russia.
Stefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, held talks in Kiev last week and recommended a "series of concrete steps to first start to rebuild trust of (Ukrainian) people".
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton is also expected to visit this week. The EP delegation will include the Greens–European Free Alliance co-president Rebecca Harms, Spain's Jose Ignacio Salafran and Poland's Jacek Saryusz-Wolski.
The opposition has expressed several demands, including the calling of presidential elections, which would challenge Yanukovych's role, and the cancellation of a number of laws restricting freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Some members of the international community have suggested the possibility of economic and political sanctions in response to violence against protesters.