Kravchuk: Yanukovych to seek protesters' release

MARIA DANILOVA Associated Press Published:

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's president has expressed willingness to seek the release of demonstrators arrested in recent protests, according one of the former Ukrainian leaders who met with him to try to defuse the country's tensions.

Releasing those arrested during violent police dispersals of demonstrators is one of the key demands of opposition leaders who have organized rallies of hundreds of thousands in the capital.

Bidding to reduce the tensions have persisted for three weeks, President Viktor Yanukovych met Tuesday with three former leaders of the country.

One of them, Leonid Kravchuk, said Yanukovych has agreed to seek the protesters' release. But it is not clear if he can do that by a unilateral order.