Ukraine's president has announced a truce with the opposition after violent clashes with riot police killed at least 26 people.
A statement on Viktor Yanukovich's website says, after meeting with the three main opposition leader Wednesday, both sides declared a truce and vowed to start talks aimed at ending the bloodshed and stabilizing the situation.
The U.S. had earlier urged the Ukrainian government to remove riot police from the main square in Kiev and agree a truce.
Also Wednesday, European Union leaders said they were urgently preparing targeted sanctions such as asset freezes and visa bans against officials responsible for the bloody crackdown.
The unrest began in November of last year when Yanukovich agreed with Russian calls to pull out of a planned trade agreement with the EU.