Ukraine leader announces 'truce', start of talks with opposition

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych speaks in Kiev on Feb 19, 2014, during his address to the nation. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Wednesday announced a truce and the start of direct talks with the opposition after holding private talks
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych speaks in Kiev on Feb 19, 2014, during his address to the nation. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Wednesday announced a truce and the start of direct talks with the opposition after holding private talks with three anti-government leaders. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Wednesday announced a "truce" and the start of direct talks with the opposition after holding private talks with three anti-government leaders.

"Based on the results of the meeting, the sides announced a truce and the start of a negotiations process aimed at ending the bloodshed (and) stabilising the situation in the country for the benefit of civil peace," a statement posted on the president's website said after talks that included opposition leader Vitali Klitschko.