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Ukraine government doesn't rule out discussing snap polls

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The government of Ukraine does not rule out discussing snap elections with the opposition, a high-ranking official said ahead of a meeting of top European diplomats in Kiev Thursday.

"We have to hold negotiations," said First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Arbuzov when asked by Ukrainian Channel 5 late Wednesday if he considers snap parliamentary and presidential elections a solution to the ongoing standoff by pro-EU demonstrators across the country.

"Then, when there are official proposals, (we have to) discuss them," he said.

Arbuzov, 37, is seen as a key member of the so-called "Family" of close allies around President Viktor Yanukovych who have a strong influence on his decision-making.

The comments came after nearly two weeks of protests in Ukraine against the decision by the government not to sign a key political and trade agreement with the EU.

On Thursday, European diplomats were set to hold a meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Ukrainian capital.

Yanukovych meanwhile is absent on a state visit to China.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131205/ukraine-government-doesnt-rule-out-discussing-snap-polls