KIEV (AFP) - Three EU foreign ministers and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday discussed a possible "roadmap" out of the country's political turmoil, said a German delegation source.
As deadly clashes raged between protesters and police, the envoys from Germany, France and Poland then took the plan to opposition leaders and said they would stay in Kiev for more talks on Friday.
They had been due to return to Brussels on Thursday for a meeting to discuss sanctions against the Ukrainian government over the bloody escalation in the three-months-old standoff.
In over four hours of talks in Kiev, the foreign ministers and embattled Yanukovych discussed "ideas for a roadmap" toward a peaceful solution, the German delegation source said.
Neither Yanukovych nor the opposition had so far given their formal consent to the proposals, the source said.
A French diplomatic source said the three ministers had gone to Kiev with "some ideas" - including to try to "bring a halt" to the violence, start real negotiations, revise the constitution in a more democratic direction and hold early elections.
On this basis, "a form of mediation is taking place," added the source.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski earlier said on Twitter that the three would also hold talks with the opposition "so as to test proposed agreement", without elaborating.
In a last-minute change of plan, the ministers - France's Laurent Fabius, Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Poland's Sikorski - stayed on in Kiev rather than fly to Brussels to join their EU colleagues.
Diplomats told AFP that the three ministers, whose report on events in Kiev was keenly awaited by the their 25 European Union counterparts, would communicate with them by phone or video link.
The EU ministers were meeting to consider sanctions, including a possible arms embargo. against Ukraine.