18:01 24.01.2014

Yanukovych: Legislation passed by Rada on Jan 16 to be amended

The bills passed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on January 16, which President Viktor Yanukovych has already signed into law, will be amended, Yanukovych said at a meeting with religious leaders on Friday.

"Our experts will analyze these issues, and we will prepare and compromise solutions together with the opposition. We will vote for amending these laws and so will settle all issues," Yanukovych said.

"We will come to the parliament together with the opposition and vote," he said.

The parliamentary majority passed a package of bills on January 16, which many view as cracking down on fundamental democratic freedoms in Ukraine. The opposition claims that the rules of procedure were violated in passing the legislation. In particular, some of the bills tighten liability for unsanctioned public actions and blockage of government buildings and institutions, and also introduce the concept of non-governmental organizations acting as foreign agents. The bills have drawn strong criticism from the opposition and a number of Western countries and are believed to have served as the primary cause of the escalation of the protests in the center of Kyiv since January 19.

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